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Warner missed 'absolute best time' to retire, says Ponting

Warner's Test future is in doubt after he had to fly back to Australia following the second Test in Delhi after suffering a concussion and fracturing his elbow.

Warner missed absolute best time to retire, says Ponting
David Warner

DUBAI: Legendary Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes David Warner missed an opportunity to hang up his boots in Test cricket at the Sydney Cricket Ground earlier this year but believes the opener is set to make a comeback in the format.

Warner's Test future is in doubt after he had to fly back to Australia following the second Test in Delhi after suffering a concussion and fracturing his elbow.

His Test form has been a growing concern since 2022. In 14 matches, Warner has scored just 607 runs at 26.39 which includes a double-century in the Boxing Day Test against South Africa.
Despite that, Ponting believes the opener will return to a team that punched their ticket for the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 Final with a nine-wicket win against India in Indore and has an Ashes series to follow soon after.

"I think they'll definitely want to play him in the World Test Championship match. They have got some really big decisions to make, leading into the Ashes [in England] as well. A bit like some of the selection issues they had coming to India. They're probably going to have similar things to think about when they get to the UK because David's record in the UK is not as strong as it is in some other places around the world," Ponting said on The ICC Review.

"But I don't think it's the end of David Warner, I think they'll bring him back for that one game. If he does well there, then I think he'll probably start the Ashes and see from there," he added.

At 36, Warner is in the twilight of his career and Ponting, who admitted in the past that he'd prolonged his career longer than he should have, perhaps understands better than most what it's like to be in Warner's shoes right now.
In fact, Ponting believes the best opportunity for a fitting Test retirement has already passed for Warner.

"Look, I was on the radio a couple of days ago, back here in Australia, and I thought the absolute best time for Davey to retire if he was thinking about it at all, was after the Sydney Test match here in Australia. He'd just played his 100th Test in Melbourne and obviously got 200 in the first innings down there. And to bow out in front of his home crowd is obviously the way that every player would like to finish their careers," said Ponting.

"Who knows now that opportunity might not come around again for Davey, you know. That's nearly another 12 months away," the former Aussie captain added.

Ponting remains hopeful Warner can rediscover his form and give his career enough of a life to draw curtains on his own terms.

"Look, I'd love it if he could do that. It'd be fitting if he could do that, finish in front of his home crowd. But he's going to have to play really well between now and then for that to happen. And in my own heart of hearts, I hope that's the case. I think his career deserves to finish the way he wants it to. Sort of not to be dropped or tapped on the shoulder in the middle of an overseas tour and have his career end in that way. That's why I just hope he can find it within himself to score a lot of runs between now and next summer. If he does, then next summer might be the ideal opportunity for him," he concluded.

Warner will be in action in the Indian Premier League (IPL), captaining the Delhi Capitals (DC). He was named the skipper for the 16th season of the IPL for the Delhi Capitals after regular captain Rishabh Pant was ruled out after his horrific car crash.

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