According to his close friend and long-time team-mate Usman Khawaja, David Warner’s aggressive behavior before his one-year ban from international cricket was often due to following team instructions. “For a long period of time, he was in people’s faces and doing stuff; but that wasn’t always Davey,” Khawaja said. “He was getting told to play a certain way by the coaching staff and people around at certain points. He’s such a team player,” Khawaja stated. “Back in the day, if the team asked – or coaches or senior players [asked] – to get into the contest or sledge the other teams, he’d do it. He doesn’t have to do it, but he wants to help the team, and that’s how he felt he had to help the team. You’ve seen a very different David Warner since he’s come back in 2019. He’s done it his own way.”
Prior to his Test retirement, Warner’s career was marked with numerous run-ins with authority, including the ball-tampering scandal in 2018. However, his captain, Pat Cummins, praised his “exemplary” role in the team since his return in 2019, and Khawaja believes the send-off he is getting is well-deserved.
Warner and Khawaja have recently had the chance to walk out together twice during this Test. On both occasions, Khawaja has allowed Warner to lead the way and admitted there were plenty of emotions swirling as their time in the team neared an end. Khawaja also shared that Warner became emotional when speaking about him ahead of the Test.
Despite Warner’s frustration after being dropped at slip, Khawaja noted that he looked good and it was nice to see him leave on a high.