David Warner finds a new gear under pressure

ROB FORSAITH
Last updated 09:44 05/03/2014

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TWO-TON: David Warner celebrates his second century on day four of the series-deciding third test against South Africa at Newlands.

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For the second test series in a row, David Warner will top the run-scoring charts.

The steadying influence of partner Candice Falzon was credited as the spark that helped Warner turn his life - and cricket career around - after punching England batsman Joe Root in a Birmingham bar last year.

Falzon helped Warner fire in the 2013-14 Ashes and compile 523 runs across the five Tests, and has been alongside him for the three-Test series in South Africa where he's scored 543.

But it was a more personal source of motivation Warner drew on as he took his career-best form to a new level and belted two belligerent centuries in the series decider at Newlands.

In the space of 15 seconds in a radio interview, Warner had put his foot in his mouth while discussing the opposition's reverse-swing in the second Test.

Warner was fined by the ICC, punished by his own team, sternly criticised by the opposition and pilloried by many pundits.

The 27-year-old made amends the only way he knows - 30 boundaries and 280 runs spread across two typically free-flowing innings.

"When there is a little bit of pressure on, I do find another gear. It does help me sometimes," Warner said.

"The other thing is that when I get out there and they start giving me a little bit of banter, I love that.

"If they are not going to talk to me when I am out there, I will try to niggle them.

"I love it when they come at me, it is a challenge."

Vernon Philander huffed and puffed and a hamstrung Dale Steyn tried his best, but the top two bowlers on the ICC's Test rankings both failed to halt Warner's momentum in either knock.

Warner believed he earned their respect in the process.

"I do feel respected, and the other thing is they know if they miss their mark that I'm going to start going after them," Warner said.

As for his performance on Sky Sports Radio, Warner agreed there was room to improve.

"Sometimes when I do deliver something in the media I probably do say it in a way where it does get misunderstood," Warner said.

"I'm always going to continue to be honest and not cross that line. I've got to keep working on my ability to do that."

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