The Ashes: Still can't believe we lost the Durham Test, says David Warner

Explosive left-hander says he enjoyed his 109-run partnership with Chris Rogers. Warner compared Rogers' approach to Ed Cowan and appreciated his ability to play the waiting game.

Updated: August 15, 2013 14:42 IST
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David Warner just can't get over the defeat in the fourth Test at Durham that gave England a 3-0 lead in the Ashes series.

Warner's 109-run opening stand with Chris Rogers set the foundation for an unlikely tilt at the 299-run victory target but when Warner was third man out for a classy 71, Australia lost eight wickets in a flash to 'gift' England a 74-run win

"It was gutting," Warner said of the collapse. "I went to have a shower. It took me half an hour to get over my dismissal. When I came out we had lost three quick wickets," he said.

Speaking to reporters, Warner said: "I still can't believe it happened so fast and it finished [on Monday]. I just thought if we hung in there and got through that tough period of (Stuart) Broad's spell we could have come back and finished it off by lunchtime [Tuesday], but we lost. It's our fault, the batters," Warner said on Wednesday.

With the Barmy Army rallying firmly behind their men, the Aussies have found it tough to adjust. Their own form has been concerning but crowd support can sometimes egg players on. Warner admitted as much.

"We were talking about it just before, what goes through our minds when we walk out there and how rowdy the crowd was. It does help having the home [crowd] behind you and you know you've just got to try to get through that tough spell. As an opener I feel the hardest part for me is getting myself in and then I can relax with the crowd environment.

"But I know the feeling when the guys come in. When I first came back and I got booed walking out at Manchester I felt real nervy. I felt real small. I felt that everything was against me. And I can just imagine how some of the guys felt coming in when we lost those quick wickets. But at the end of the day we did get knocked over and it was quite disappointing."

Warner, who was embroiled in controversy after his alleged attack on Joe Root during the Champions Trophy 2013, returned to the opening slot in the second innings of the third Test at Manchester. He scored an important 41 then. In his feisty innings of 71 at Durham though, Warner showed his gritty side. He also commended the best batsman in the series, Ian Bell and encouraged his teammates to learn from him.

"Especially for the guys who like to play their shots and like to feel bat on ball, we need to know how to rein it in and then we know we're going to get those bad balls," Warner said. "Perfect example is looking at Ian Bell, anything we've bowled to him straight at the stumps he's defended back to the bowler and probably 80% of the runs he's scored in this series have been through cover and point.

"He's waiting and being patient. It's exactly what Bucky [Rogers] was doing in the first innings, he waited for that ball and he knows his game so well that anything in that zone he's blocking and any width he's playing. That's how simple they've kept it."

Since Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer put on 185 at The Oval in 2005, Australia did not have a century opening stand until Warner and Rogers combined in the 2nd innings of the Durham Test. Warner compared Rogers with Ed Cowan, who disappointed in his only Test of the series at Nottingham (1st Test).

"I said it to Bucky at the drinks break, I said I enjoy batting with you because you don't say anything. When you're out there he's got such a structured game plan and he knows his game so well, he's scored 20,000 first class runs, he's just peeled off a hundred in the first innings. He's just so basic how he goes about his game. And when we're out there and we're chasing, he just kept on saying to me, keep it simple, keep it simple and back your game plan.

"He's very similar to Ed. They're both smart people, they both go about their business how they do and I find opening with both of them has probably helped my game as well because I do like to get involved in a bit of a conversation when we're out there about things that are not anything to do with cricket, just to get your mind off it. But those guys are so disciplined with what they do and it keeps my mind at ease as well."

Warner played at No. 6 in the first innings of the drawn third Test at Manchester. Watson's continuous failure prompted for Warner's promotion and Australia, despite all his troubles, know very well of his qualities.

"When you're opening the batting it does take you probably 10 balls to get your feet moving properly," he said. "They're not going to move straight away. And then when you're coming in at No.6 and you're facing Swann as a left-hander it is hard to get your feet moving and you're probably more inclined to sit on the crease.

"And that's generally what he wants you to do because he's trying to get you out lbw, from a left-hander's point of view. I find it actually easier to play him if I'm opening because I can settle in, I've got my rhythm and I can use my feet. Coming in at No. 6 was a bit different to face him, I was caught on the crease and it turned out he got me out like that."

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