This time last year David Warner was about to be dismissed by Stuart Broad for the seventh and final time in his horror Ashes series. His other three dismissals during the five Tests were at the hands of Jofra Archer and it is a duel which has resumed over the last couple of weeks in T20Is and now the ODIs with Archer claiming Warner every innings.
In Warner’s defence, he had a half century to his name in the first T20 before giving himself room against a rapid yorker and the two deliveries to remove him in the ODIs at Old Trafford have been beauties: one that nipped past his bat to take off stump and then a rearing shorter delivery which nicked the edge through to Jos Buttler.
However, with seven dismissals of Warner in just 10 matches against him, Archer is already at No. 7 in the bowlers to dismiss the left hander most frequently – a table unsurprisingly headed by Broad. There is one more chance on Wednesday for the pair to go head-to-head, with the one-day series on the line, then Covid permitting there is the tantalising prospect of them perhaps meeting each other at next year’s T20 World Cup and then almost certainly in the Ashes.
Here’s a reminder of a battle that, so far, has gone the way of the England quick:
2nd Test, Lord’s, 2nd innings: c Burns, b Archer 5
3.3 got him! Length ball, doesn’t do much off the pitch but Warner dangles his bat – prods at it really – and the ball flies off the outside edge into the gully where Burns takes a sharp low catch. What a start for England…
3rd Test, Headingley, 1st innings: c Bairstow b Archer 61
31.4 finds the edge this time! Precision engineering from Archer, he recalibrates by a couple of millimetres and rips out Warner to get the crowd on their feet! Touching 90mph, straightening off the pitch as Warner felt for it on off stump – not much he could do to play a ball like that, bar miss it. Bulls-eye from Archer to remove the Bull!
5th Test, The Oval, 1st innings: c Bairstow b Archer 5
1.5 flash and miss trying to cut. There’s a shout from England, given not out, and they review! They thought he hit it. Looks to be a gap between ball and bat on the replay. Ultra Edge says … there’s a tiny spike! He’s given out! Decision overturned. Wow. Legitimately looked like he missed it
1st T20, Ageas Bowl: b Archer 58
15.2 bowled him! Warner gives himself room for an inside-out drive, Archer follows him from round the wicket, and the ball cannons off the pads into the leg stump! Now then … it’s a big ask for England, but there are two brand-new batsmen at the crease…
2nd T20I, Ageas Bowl: c Buttler b Archer 0
0.3 given caught behind, and Warner has reviewed straight away! He made the call in the instant he was given. Another cracking delivery, short of a length, nips back at Warner and beats the inside edge, but the replay shows that glanced the glove!
1st ODI, Old Trafford: b Archer 6
3.1 ripper, Archer gets Warner again! 90mph/144kph, bit of late movement to beat Warner’s defences, and Archer pegs back the top of his off stump! That’s an absolute beauty, and England have a breakthrough. Warner’s stunned facial expression tells the story – as close to unplayable as it gets
2nd ODI, Old Trafford: c Buttler b Archer 6
3.4 got him again! Archer has the wood on Warner. This was a scorcher at 91 mph, back of a length and moves across, has Warner poking at it in the channel. Awkward height too, with the ball near rib-cage. Takes a thin edge through to Buttler. (Cricinfo)