For me, it came in 1997 when I could not make a run – and at no point did I think I was washed up. Nor does Warner, who was also 32 when he went through his lean run in the Ashes. I am confident he will rediscover his best form this summer.
Pakistan will no doubt have learned from Broad. The moving ball has always been Warner’s nemesis. He is not a batsman with a lot of foot movement. Instead, he relies on his eye and hands, which are not as tested when the ball is going straight on.
Pakistan will need someone who can move it just enough like Broad did and another quick who can tie him down. Once he gets going, it’s advantage Warner (and Australia) as bowlers become unsure where to bowl to him. The visitors cannot allow Australia to rattle along at four or five runs an over as they have in the past.
I have not seen a lot of Pakistan’s younger bowlers but Imran Khan and Mohammad Abbas, who had plenty of success last time in the UAE, have to lead the way, despite the big wraps on their teenagers.
This is a big series for Joe Burns, who will not have a better opportunity than this to cement his place in the side. He’s at home against the world No.7, who have an inexperienced attack. There will be no excuse if he fails.
Burns does not need to make century after century to prove to Trevor Hohns and Justin Langer he is the right man for the job, but show consistency at the top. I’m reluctant to say this is his last chance because such is the current landscape for batsmen in Australia you can be confident change is never far away.
Those on the fringe should look to Marnus Labuschagne for inspiration. In the space of three-and-a-half Tests, the Queenslander has gone from not being in the XI to being a lock at No.3. One knock could be the difference.
For Marnus, that came at Lord’s where he fronted up and gritted his teeth after Steve Smith was ruled out with concussion. I have no doubt that changed the way Marnus saw himself as a batsman.
I would not want to be a Pakistan batsman this series. The Ashes would have hurt Starc, who looks to have come back hungrier this summer.
Cummins and Hazlewood have impressed me in the Shield. I ran into my old opening partner Geoff Marsh recently during a match against his Western Australia. He reckoned Cummins’ spell changed the course of the game.
Tim Paine has a tough decision as to who he gives the ball to first, though new-ball honours are more for bragging rights than anything else. You don’t bowl out a side in eight overs. For the record, I’d go for Cummins and Hazlewood on the proviso they will be swiftly out if they do not bowl well. That’s the luxury you have with Starc as first change.
Paine’s future has been the subject of debate but I did not mind his comments that he is unsure when he will retire.
The best thing Tim can do is enjoy his cricket because there are no real challenges to him as skipper or wicketkeeper. The fact he’s no longer playing white-ball cricket means he can focus his energy to Test cricket, which makes life a lot easier.
He will not know until well into this summer how much longer he wants to stay.
Mark Taylor played 104 Tests for Australia, 50 of them as captain, and is a former Cricket Australia board member.