'No, not at all': David Warner brushes off Oval retirement rumours

London, July 26 (IANS) Veteran Australia opener David Warner has dismissed the rumours that he will retire from Test cricket after the fifth and final Ashes 2023 Test at the Oval.

Warner’s retirement speculation was fuelled when Vaughan told Fox Cricket that he had heard “whispers” during the Old Trafford Test that the final Ashes encounter would be left-hander’s last game in the red-ball format.

Notably, the 36-year-old batter last month announced his plans to retire following the three-match home series against Pakistan next summer, culminating in a home farewell for the New Year’s Test in Sydney.

He is now all set to play his final Test away from home this week when the fifth and final Test of an enthralling Ashes series takes place at The Oval from Thursday.

“No, not at all,” Warner said when asked if he had considered altering his retirement plans.

“As a player that doesn’t go through your head. Going through your head is actually going out there and trying to score as many runs as you can and try and work hard on your game in the nets. If you get tapped on the shoulder (by selectors), you get tapped on the shoulder,” he added.

Warner’s final Test abroad will mark an opportunity for him to score his first Test ton on English soil. He has so far endured a lean series in which he has scored 201 runs at 25.12 from eight innings, including just a solitary half-century, coming when he scored a handy 66 in the first innings of the third Test at Lord’s.

While those returns are somewhat modest in comparison to Warner’s output in Australia and other countries around the world, the veteran feels like he is still making a strong contribution and is confident he can do so again at The Oval.

“I’ve probably left a few runs out there but in saying that I’ve played a lot better than what I did last time (in 2019). I’ve got in good positions, I’m looking to score, I’ve had a couple of unlucky dismissals and then dismissals where I’ve tried to negate the swing or the seam and it’s caught the outside edge of the bat.

So for me, I feel like I’m in a good space, contributed well, and as a batting unit we’re all about partnerships. And I think the partnerships that we’ve had in key moments of this series so far, have actually worked very well for us as a team,” Warner said.

The seasoned cricketer believes that Australia are well placed with good options for when his Test career does finish up, with the left-hander throwing his weight behind Matthew Renshaw as a player that could easily fill the void when both he and fellow opener Usman Khawaja depart.

“Matt Renshaw is a very good player…he’s tall, he’s exactly like Haydos (former Australia opener Matthew Hayden). We spoke about him in his early part of his career. I’ve always held him in high regard as a very good player. He’s worked on his technique. He’s been in and out of the squads, and I think he’ll be a great replacement,” Warner said.

–IANS

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