p.Usman Khawaja claims David Warner sacrificed his own image for the good of the Australian cricket team and the combative opening bat never wanted to be the attack dog he was told to be.But Khawaja has taken heart that as Warner graces a Test pitch for the final time, his childhood friend is now playing the game he loves the way he always wanted to.His suggestions will reflect badly on past Australian coaches with Darren Lehmann in particular likely to be singled out given he was at the helm when Warner was at his most aggressive on the field.Ricky Ponting was the Test skipper was leading the team when Warner came into the Australian side while Michael Clarke also oversaw an in-your-face attitude when he took over as captain.Warner was out for 34 in the first innings of his final Test on Thursday, caught at slip after edging a ball that gripped and bounced from spinning allrounder Agha Salman.“This series he’s batted beautifully,” Khawaja said. “He just got a ripper of a ball today, which you just have to cop sometimes.”Warner left the pitch admonishing himself for failing to capitalize on a good SCG wicket but was given a standing ovation by his home crowd.The warm reception was a far cry from previous public assessments of Warner, a polarizing figure even before his involvement in the 2018 ball-tampering saga.Warner earned the nickname “bull” for his relentlessness in attacking opposition teams both with the bat and verbally.His approach to the game epitomized the “win-at-all-costs” mentality uncovered in the Australian cricket team by the post sandpapergate culture review.But Khawaja, who has known Warner since the pair were pre-teens, said his opening partner never wanted to be cast as the pantomime villain.“For a long period of time there, he was in people’s faces and doing stuff,” Khawaja said reflecting on his friend’s career.“But that wasn’t always Davey. He was also getting told to play a certain way, by the coaching staff, by people around certain points.“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.“He’s such a team player, if you ask him to do something he’ll do it for the team. That’s the frustrating part when people come at him. He’s always put himself second and put the team first.”Warner shirked his “bull” moniker after returning from the year-long ban he received after the ball-tampering saga. Since then, Khawaja has been heartened to see his friend’s true colors shine through.“You’ve seen a very different Davey Warner since he’s come back,” he said. “He’s scored runs, he’s done it his own way, he’s played the game in a really good way. div id-“attachment_1325704” style-“width: 2010px” class-“wp-caption alignnone” The Emojis are making no sense.

David Warner walks off the Sydney Cricket Ground. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

“You can tell he’s smiling a lot on the field, he’s doing it Davey Warner’s way, which has been really good to see in the last part of his career.”That’s part of why Khawaja became emotional speaking about his friend’s impending retirement, and witnessing the reception he received as the pair shared the crease for possibly the last time.“It’s really good to watch that people are getting around him because I believe he deserves it, I really do,” he said.“We won’t get to play again after this. It’ll definitely be sad. Even talking about it right now, I think about the journey that we’ve been on and it gets quite emotional.“But it’s not the end of our lives or hopefully it’s not. Hopefully we’ve got a lot more time spending together, on the golf course or commentating or whatever it might be. I’m sure there’s some good times ahead.”“with AAP”

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