David Warner has revealed that Australia had already planned that they would declare their innings in the second session of Day 2 in the 2nd Test vs Pakistan on Sunday. Warner, who remained unbeaten on 335 – the tenth highest score in Test cricket – was batting at a strike rate above 80 and was set to even scale Brian Lara’s 400, the highest Test score.
Australia’s decision to declare their innings, with Warner stranded on 335*, has drawn a lot of strong reactions. While some have said that Tim Paine’s decision reinforces the fact that no individual record is more important than the team, others have panned Paine for denying Warner a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of scoring a 400.
Australia have declared!
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 30, 2019
Speaking after the day’s play, however, Warner cleared the air on the declaration. “We looked at the weather that’s around tomorrow, we wanted to give ourselves a lot of time. We’ve managed to get six wickets down. If there is a bit of rain about tomorrow, the bowlers get a good rest, they only have to come out and try to get 14 wickets in the last two days,” he was quoted to have said by ESPNCricinfo.
There have been forecasts of rain in Adelaide this week and there is still chance that some portion of the three remaining days might be affected by showers. Warner said the weather forecast was a big reason why Australia wanted to declare early and have a siginificant amount of time bowling to Pakistan in the third session of Day 2.
Warner added, “The first person I asked was [Steven] Smithy when I was out there batting. I said how many overs do you reckon we’ll have at them tonight, and it was literally that perfect amount. Then I came in, I think at that [tea] break, and I said ‘when are we declaring’, and they said ‘5.40 pm’ and I said ‘ok’. I kept on asking when we were out there, we got to five, then ten past five, and I was making sure that was still the message and it was. Until I think that last over before, it just ticked over [5.40pm] and Painey wanted me to try and get past that 334 mark.”
The declaration from Australia finally came at 5.40 pm, four minutes past the time that had been decided in the dressing room.
Mark Taylor and Don Bradman both have 334 as their highest Test scores – which is now the joint third highest score by an Australian in Tests.
Asked whether breaking the records of Bradman and Taylor were on his mind, Warner said, “100% I was aware of the history. You grow up knowing what those milestones are. Forever you talk about Donald Bradman. They’re things that you look at the history books and say, ‘how did they get there – that’s a long time in the middle’.”
Warner’s 335* is the tenth highest Test score in history and the 2nd highest Test score by an Australian – after Matthew Hayden’s 380.