By India Today Sports Desk: Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has backed opener David Warner to deliver with the bat against England in the second innings of the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston. Despite his poor run of Test cricket form, Ponting believes Warner looked good in the WTC final against India and the first innings of this Ashes Test.
Stuart Broad continued his dominance over Warner, dismissing the Australian opener for the 15th time in Test cricket, making him the bowler with the most dismissals against Warner. The rivalry between the two has been one-sided, with Warner averaging just 18.93 in Test cricket when up against Broad.
Broad's success against Warner has been most evident in matches played in England, where he has taken Warner's wicket nine times in 14 matches. The Ashes matches on English soil have been especially difficult for Warner, who has averaged only four runs against Broad. Warner's place in the side is in jeopardy going into the second Test, given his paltry Test average of 12.71 this year.
"I thought he looked really good in the first innings of the WTC Final; the 40-odd he made there, he played really well. And even though he made nine in the first innings here, the way he actually started his innings was the best I've seen him start in two years of Test cricket. So it's still there," Ponting said while speaking after the close of play on Day 3.
While Warner's poor form continues to worry Australia, his opening partner Usman Khawaja has been in spectacular form in whites over the last couple of years.
"I think the fact that he wasn't able to score as freely as he would've wanted at the start of that innings played a part in him playing the shot that he did. But there's no doubt the second innings is an important one for him – not just for his career's sake, but it's going to be a big innings as far as this game and this series goes. If he starts the same way that he started in the first innings, then I think he will make some runs," Ponting added.