David Warner on the WTC final: 'It should be at least a three-game series'

David Warner gets cracking as Australia get ready for the WTC final
June 03, 2023

David Warner would like to see the World Test Championship (WTC) final played as a three-Test series instead of a one-off game.

Australia take on India at The Oval from June 7, the first step in a big six months for them as they challenge for the Test title, the Ashes and then the ODI World Cup. Warner has played in World Cup finals before - has won them too - but is looking forward to a first five-day title.

"I think it's great," he said ahead of a training session in Beckenham. "I have been - I won't say critical - but I do think it should be at least a three-game series with Test cricket only. You play two years of good cricket, then you play on a neutral venue against an opposition. We've all played here before but [this game is] not against the same [host] nation.

"It's a great reward for the two best teams. Two world-class bowling attacks bowling with a Dukes ball on foreign land. It's great and we're excited for that."

Given an increasingly cramped calendar and the demands on a schedule a three-Test series will make on any host nation, it is unlikely Warner's wish will become reality anytime soon. Speaking last week, the ICC's general manager cricket, Wasim Khan said that though there is constant review of the structure, the current feedback from members was that the league and one-off final was "continuing to work as it is".

Members have committed to the league and final for the next eight-year cycle.

Warner cops blow on elbow but he's good to go

Warner should be fine to play in the final, despite taking another hit to his left elbow in nets a couple of days ago. It hit him on the same spot as the Mohammed Siraj delivery in the second innings of the Delhi Test earlier this year. That blow resulted in a hairline fracture which ruled him out of the remaining two Tests of the series.

"It was sore, it got me right on the same point from a different angle," he said. "It went numb, had to get it strapped. It's fine now, a little bit sore. Luckily it didn't hit me on top.

"The last one hit from above and had a hairline fracture. This one was a straight blow on the corner of the elbow which was quite sore. Just one of those things, you get hit, you get hit, can't do anything about it."

Warner goes into the final with questions around his Test form. He averages 26 since the start of 2022 but said he'd been batting in the nets better than he ever remembers.

"I remember 2013, I was in the nets and copping it left, right and centre in the media about getting bowled by Mitchell Starc and all the other guys and how I wasn't in form in the nets. I found that a bit bizarre because I'm probably one of the worst netters going around. But here, I've actually been superb, in terms of how my feet have been moving. My energy's been moving, I've been up and about. I'm probably batting better than I ever have in the nets."

With a Test underway at Lord's already and the Ashes to start in just under two weeks, the WTC final - in England but without England - has had to fight a little for its share of the attention. Warner, at least, was clear about his immediate priorities: Stuart Broad later, Mohammed Shami and Co for now.

"I haven't really worked on that [plans for Broad] yet," he said. "I'm concentrating on the WTC final. Mohammed Shami and [Mohammed] Siraj and Shardul Thakur is what's on my mind first. That's what important to us right now, then I'll switch on and worry about Stuart Broad if they select him for the first Test this time."

"We've played some outstanding cricket over the last 18-24 months. We know what India will bring to the table. It's a great neutral venue, two world-class bowling attacks with a Dukes ball and from a batter's perspective, I can't wait to get out there."

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