England fast bowler Jimmy Anderson, who will lock horns with his old foe when the Ashes begin here on December 8, has a grudging respect for Australian opener David Warner. Anderson said that Warner still has "too much for England" and "we are not going to take him lightly".
Warner's heroics at the T20 World Cup signalled he is back to his explosive best.
"His record in Australia is ridiculous, so we know it's going to be a different animal to the one we faced in 2019 in our summer. We've played so much cricket against Warner, we know you can never say you're actually on top of him -- he's that good of a batter, he's got that much quality," Anderson told Fox Sports.
An attacking left-hander, Warner failed miserably on English soil in 2019 where he scored just 95 runs at an average of only 9.5. Stuart Broad was his nemesis, dismissing him seven times. But as Anderson alluded to, his form in Australia is ominous. Warner has scored 4,551 of his 7,311 Test runs at home, smacking 18 centuries at an average of 63.20 from his 45 Tests, plundering the highest score of 335.
Former Australia captain Greg Chappell too warned that Warner should never be underestimated.
"Many had written him off before the T20 World Cup, only to have him prove how important he is at the top of the order," he said, referring to Warner finding form again in leading Australia to the title last month.
"I think he is even more important in the Test lineup," added Chappell. "A skilful, fast-scoring opening batsman can be invaluable in setting up the game. Teams with aggressive openers cause opposition captains and bowlers to toss and turn at night."
Warner made a modest debut in Brisbane 10 years ago but then carried his bat with a career-defining century in his second game at Hobart to signal his arrival. He went on to establish himself as one of the best all-format openers in the world before it all came crashing down and his reputation was trashed.
Warner was cast as the villain in the Sandpaper-gate ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in 2018, having conspired with Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith to alter the ball during the third Test in Cape Town.