‘I’m looking to score’
Experienced Australia batter David Warner has admitted his imminent retirement from Test cricket is not at the forefront of his mind and he remains purely focused on helping his side break a 22-year drought and win the Ashes on English soil.
Warner has already announced that he plans to retire from Test cricket following the home series against Pakistan this Australian summer and the 36-year-old will 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.
The south London Test represents yet another opportunity for Warner to register his maiden Test century on English soil, while the left-hander also gets the chance to guide Australia to a first series triumph in England since 2001.
Warner said helping Australia win the series was his only focus currently and he had given no thought to changing any dates for his planned impending retirement from Test cricket in the coming months.
"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."
Warner has managed just 201 runs from eight innings this series, with his one 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)," Warner said.
"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."
And Warner believes Australia are well placed with good options for when his Test career does finish up, with the left-hander anointing 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)," Warner noted.
"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."