Troubled test batsman David Warner gave the England players something to read about when they arrived for the Ashes series by plundering a record 197 in the semifinals of Australia's domestic limited-overs competition. While the England squad was flying into Perth, Western Australia, to start preparations for the five-test Ashes series, Warner notched his third century in four matches to lift his New South Wales province into the final of the Ryobi Cup.
His 197 came from 141 balls and included 20 boundaries and 10 sixes before he was caught deep in the outfield trying to reach a double century — the first in the 45-year history of Australia's domestic limited-overs competition. Warner, who was dropped for two tests in the last Ashes series and more recently cut from Australia's squad for the ongoing ODI tour to India because he was out of form, has scored 527 runs at an average of 75 in the domestic tournament. "For me it is about being at the crease with a clear mind, backing myself and realizing that is what is working," Warner said.
As for narrowly missing a double-century, Warner said he was more concerned about New South Wales chasing down the winning runs against Victoria to seal a place in final against Queensland. "It is a team game and we had to try and reach the total and we did that which is all that matters," he said. "You never want to be the person that milks it for milestones." In recent weeks, Warner admitted he's been a "pest in the past" but said he's taken some advice from former test captain Mark Taylor in an effort to turn his career around. The Australian batsman was given a one-match suspended ban for failing to show up for the second day of a Sydney grade game as directed earlier in the month. He said his absence was due to a "misunderstanding."
He was also fined for a Twitter rant against a cricket writer in May before an altercation with England opener Joe Root in a Birmingham pub in June cost him his place in the Champions Trophy squad and two Ashes test matches. England completed its third consecutive Ashes series win in August, and comes to Australia high on confidence ahead of the first test starting Nov. 21 in Brisbane.