Transfixed by Stuart Broad in the winter, Warner made only 95 runs in 10 innings but he said he had never lost confidence in his capacity to bounce back.
“I don’t feel under pressure at all,” Warner said. “For me it’s about going out there and backing my ability. If you get selected or don’t get selected you’ve got to accept that. The Ashes for me was a failure but I know what I’m capable of doing.
“I was on the end of a great series by a very good bowler. There was nothing more I could do. I wasn’t out of form, I was out of runs. Today I had a little bit of luck. That’s what you need in the game. Over there I didn’t have much luck at all.”
After his first Test innings on home soil since his reinstatement in the side, he said his 12-month ban for the Cape Town incident had positive side effects.
“To have that time off and the time to reflect, and just get away from the game … there is a lot more to life than just cricket,” Warner said. “I really just loved the time I spent home with my family.
“You don’t get that when you’re travelling all the time. I really enjoyed that time off. Obviously I’m back now and I’ve got to keep working hard and keep being respectful of the game because it can bite you on the backside very fast.”
A fifth Test ton eluded Burns when he dragged a Yasir Shah leg break onto his stumps but there had been no denying Warner, who eclipsed 150 for the fourth time in Tests. Ashes hero Marnus Labuschagne could join him with a maiden Test ton on Saturday, when he will resume unbeaten on 55.
Warner, 33, wasn’t without fortune. He looked to be on his way for 56 when 16-year-old Naseem Shah had him caught behind just after lunch hanging his bat way outside off. But what would have been a memorable first Test wicket for the teenager was stripped from him when television umpire Michael Gough reviewed the replay of his front-foot landing and found he had clearly planted it beyond the crease.
Then, in the second last over Imran Khan shaded Warner’s off stump and the bails didn’t come off. It confirmed it was Warner’s day.
His chemistry with Burns had been a factor in the Queenslander’s recall and Warner joked that they had “rekindled their love” after going out to dinner with their respective partners in the lead-up to the Test.
Australia have had a revolving door of opening combinations in recent years with Warner the constant, aside from his time on the sidelines, and while Burns has been dropped after a match in which he’s made a far bigger score, the pair appear to be set for another decent run alongside each other.
Pakistan were left to rue not bowling at Warner from around the wicket from the outset on Friday, as Broad had done so successfully against him in England. The surprising omission of their most experienced seamer, Mohammad Abbas, who tormented Australia in the United Arab Emirates last year, also came back to bite them.
Imran was preferred to him and he didn’t live up to the famous name. The occasion didn’t pan out quite as young Naseem might have hoped either, although he looked the most threatening of the three Pakistani quicks, hitting north of 147kmh in his first over and letting Burns know he was there later with a short one that spat up and clocked him on the elbow. Warner dubbed him a “superstar” in the making.
The no-ball to Warner was a setback but he kept charging in and was clearly tiring when a poor misfield on the boundary late in the day cost his side four runs. He finished the day clutching at his calf.
Chris Barrett is Sports Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.