Sport Cricket The Ashes: Golf with Ponting helped Warner find his batting form

The Ashes: Golf with Ponting helped Warner find his batting form

No looking back: David Warner on his way to batting himself into form. Photo: Getty
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The boos continued, but David Warner’s form slump was banished at Headingly, with the Australian opener crediting a round of golf with Ricky Ponting as the catalyst for the step forward.

Warner said assistant coach and former skipper Ponting had helped him to refocus after his first disastrous first four Ashes innings of this tour where he failed to reach double figures.

On Thursday Warner scored a battling 61 in cloudy and overcast conditions as Australia were bundled out for just 179 in the third Test.

The 32-year-old and the impressive Marnus Labuschagne (71) were only batsmen to score any runs of substance, putting on 111 for the third wicket.

David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne during their 111-run partnership. Photo: Getty 

Warner battled through a taxing start after Joe Root won the toss and put the tourists in to bat, with the outstanding Stuart Broad (2-32) and Jofra Archer (6-45) beating his outside edge on numerous occasion in the first 15 overs.

Warner  admitted he rode his luck on occasions but said words of wisdom from Ponting had put him at ease after failing to fire in the Test format since returning from his 12-month ban.

“It’s been challenging but coming into it mentally I felt like I was in form,” Warner said.

“Today was about trying to negate that good ball and not get out to it. I had a lot of luck, I played and missed quite a lot but I kept my bat nice and tight.

“I was very pleased with the way I adjusted very well. I moved across a little bit more so my bat was covering that off stump, allowed me to leave a little bit more.

Going out on the golf course with Ricky was great. He was all about making sure I’m still backing my game plan, looking to get forward and looking to hit the ball.

“I know when I’m looking to hit the ball my defence takes care of itself and I’m compact. That was fortunate enough today that it came off.”

Meanwhile, Warner tipped Marnus Labuschagne to become a permanent fixture in the Australian batting line-up even when Steve Smith returns following another fine innings from the 25-year-old at Headingley.

“He’s just taken the bull by its horns,” Warner said.

“He’s got that opportunity and he’s working his backside off to reinstate himself into the Test arena and he is doing himself every favour by hanging in and batting the way he is.

“It obviously it wasn’t ideal that Steve couldn’t play but he got another opportunity to come out and play.

“He’s a fantastic player and he has got a lot to offer and we have seen it first hand there.”

Warner may finally have found some form, but even as he completed post-match press duties he was booed.

As the former vice-captain sat through his 12-minute media conference, offering plaudits for Archer, a group of alcohol-fuelled England fans gathered on the street outside.

Screams of “cheat”, songs and abuse soon followed.

“We’re all going to start singing soon,” Warner quipped at one point between questions.

Ground security eventually moved on the group and cleared a space so Australian players could walk on to their team bus.

The 32-year-old left the field amid a heightened security presence upon being dismissed on Thursday, copping a couple of animated sprays from the upper level of the grandstand. But he had no complaints.

David Warner’s wife Candice and daughters Ivy and Indi cheer dad on at Headingly. Photo: Getty

“They are allowed to do want they want. They pay to come in and watch cricket and are allowed to carry on if they want,” Warner said.

“If they carry on too much they get evicted.

“We just worry about what we have to do. It’s hard enough trying to hit a swinging and seaming ball.

“They just come here to have fun, enjoy a good game of cricket and try and add some extra pressure on us. Some of us thrive on it like me, some of us don’t even listen to it.”

“Come on Yorkshire, you’re better than that,” Geoffrey Boycott fumed in the BBC commentary box when the opener was booed after being dismissed.

-with AAP