David Warner feels ready to become a leader of the national cricket side, having made the transformation from trouble maker to tactician.
Cricket Australia’s board is expected to meet this week and ratify Steve Smith’s ascension, with captain Michael Clarke to retire after the fifth Ashes Test.
The question of who will be Smith’s understudy is less clear.
Warner is the leading candidate, but his lengthy rap sheet may mean CA boss James Sutherland comes up with another plan.
Sutherland warned Warner to stop looking for trouble after his most recent run-in, when the 28-year-old demanded India batsman Rohit Sharma “speak English” in a heated MCG confrontation.
Warner feels he has done as much.
“There’s been a little bit of a hiccup with the Rohit Sharma stuff but at the end of the day that was on the field,” he said.
“I’ve learnt to bite my tongue a little bit now.
“My job is to score runs and if I can keep doing that the rest will take care of itself.
“If the opportunity arises (to be Australia’s vice-captain) I’d definitely love to take that.”
Warner’s life off the pitch is far more settled compared to the 2013 Ashes, when he was banished for two Tests after clocking Joe Root in a bar.
Warner is on a self-imposed alcohol ban, wife Candice Falzon and baby girl Ivy Mae his main concern over the past two months.
On the pitch Warner feels a more quiet and mature cricketer too.
“I don’t think it’s so much it gets easier (to bite your tongue) it’s more you’re trying to work out ways of getting batsmen out,” he said.
“Going back to the notes that you talk about before the game … making sure you’re concentrating on the ball ahead.
“Even when I’m at mid-off, I’m always asking the bowlers what they’re thinking.”
Warner served as skipper of Australia for a few brief moments on the current tour of England when Clarke was off the field in Derby and Smith had been rested.
Earlier this year he captained Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.
“I felt like I had the team going in the right direction,” he said.
“I got some great feedback from the coaching staff and guys like VVS Laxman and Murali (bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan) as well.”
Meanwhile, Warner laughed off talk of a rift in the 17-man Ashes squad.
He was more forthright when asked about Ian Healy’s suggestion that players’ families had been a distraction during the five-Test series.
“I don’t know where that came from. I spoke to Ian Healy the other day about it,” he said.
“I love having my family on tour … when you come home to your family it’s a great thing and that always keeps me smiling.”