South Africa in Australia, 2012-13

Aggressive Warner won't back down

Brydon Coverdale

November 6, 2012

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

David Warner takes off for a run, West Indies v Australia, 3rd Test, Roseau, 1st day, April 23, 2012
"On the day they've got to be ready and they've got to be going. Our batsmen, we could be red-hot out there" © AFP
Enlarge
Related Links
Players/Officials: David Warner
Series/Tournaments: South Africa tour of Australia

David Warner has vowed to attack South Africa's powerful pace line-up when the first Test begins at the Gabba on Friday. Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander are the No.1 and No.2 Test bowlers in the world, according to the ICC rankings, and Morne Morkel is also in the top ten, but Warner is looking forward to taking them on over the next few weeks at venues such as the Gabba and the WACA, where the ball comes on to the bat.

Warner has not faced the South Africans in Test cricket but he has met them in the shorter formats, notably in January 2009 when he burst on to the international scene with 89 from 43 balls in a Twenty20 international at the MCG. However, he hasn't had quite the same impact against them in more recent encounters, and his only half-century in last year's limited-overs matches in South Africa was a slow 74 in a Port Elizabeth ODI as Australia struggled in a big chase.

Since then, Warner has made his mark in Test cricket with two contrasting centuries last summer, a patient and subdued 123 not out against New Zealand on a very difficult Hobart pitch, and a pyrotechnic 180 from 159 balls against India at the WACA. He believes his best option against Steyn and Co will be closer to that Perth performance than his stonewalling Bellerive innings.

"On grounds like this and the WACA I think it can be [the best approach], because if you play your shots the ball can go anywhere," Warner said in Brisbane ahead of the first Test. "If you hit them, you hit them. If you don't, they're going to be flying all over the place. The thing for me is being positive in the intent that I show out there - no half-hearted shots, be committed to what I want to do, have my game-plan structured and make sure I stick to it."

Although Warner has the potential to give Australia a flying start, he will also need to be aware of the dangers of the moving ball at the Gabba, a venue at which his only previous first-class experience was his Test debut against New Zealand last year. However, Jacques Kallis is the only member of South Africa's attack who has played first-class cricket at the Gabba - a pair of tour games in the 1990s - and Warner said even an attack like South Africa's was not infallible.

"They've got to turn up and bowl, don't they? You can say they've got three of the best bowlers in the world, even Jacques makes it four of the best bowlers in the world. They've still got to be able to bowl," Warner said. "On the day they've got to be ready and they've got to be going. Our batsmen, for ourselves, we could be red-hot out there. They could be bowling to red-hot batsmen on the day. You just don't know, that's how fickle this game is. But definitely they're three of the best bowlers in the world and we're up for the challenge and can't wait."

Warner will enter the match with little first-class cricket behind him over the past few months, having had only one Sheffield Shield game since the third Test in the West Indies in April. In that Shield game, against Queensland over the past week, Warner made 2 and 39, but his captain Michael Clarke was confident that an abundance of short-form cricket, including the recent Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa, would not be a major problem for Warner.

"He's batted a lot in the nets, whether it be in South Africa or Australia," Clarke said. "At least he's faced plenty of bowling in conditions similar to what he's going to face. Game time is something that all of us want ... he hit the ball really sweet in the second innings for New South Wales. Again it's important Davey continues to work on his game and doesn't get caught up in the opposition, like all of us."

And although a combative cricketer like Warner cannot help but focus on his opponents, he has also been attending to his own game since joining the Test side. He is confident that his work with his personal batting coach, Trent Woodhill, and Australia's batting mentor, Justin Langer, has helped him focus his attention on the right aspects of his game.

"I'm getting such good support. I'm getting the right advice everywhere," Warner said. "Last year I think I probably listened a lot to too many different people and I was hearing voices in my head. Now I'm just taking in the advice and being selective with what advice I've been given.

"I think the last 12 months for me has been thinking out how I play the game, how can I keep playing this game and keep being successful at this level, in all three forms. That's what I've got to learn, to be a bit more consistent, make sure when I'm scoring runs we're doing well as a team as well."

At the Gabba over the coming week, Warner and Ed Cowan will renew their partnership as Australia's opening pair and while most of the pressure is on Cowan, who was not given a Cricket Australia contract and needs a big score to lock in his place in the side, Warner also wants to continue to show the doubters that he is a Test batsman. And a strong showing against the world's No.1 side would also confirm in his own mind that he belongs in the baggy green.

"This shows me where I am at this level," Warner said. "If I can get on top of these guys and score some runs and do well for our team, I know personally that I'm capable of playing at this level. Team-wise we can see where we are on the world scale."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Brydon Coverdale

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by RagTagTeam on (November 8, 2012, 13:31 GMT)

@CricHorizon I think his average of 42 over 16 innings, as a young opener, is enough to say otherwise. Or maybe the Indian attack just was that poor. Great test for the lad!

At least he's not some egotistical maniac who's convinced he's gods gift to the cricketing world...

Posted by Beertjie on (November 7, 2012, 20:38 GMT)

Good luck Davey! Morkel and Philander are the ones to avoid, so get to the other end quick. It's Steyn for you mate; carve him up.

Posted by ozwriter on (November 7, 2012, 20:17 GMT)

warner = walking wicket except when he gets lucky

Posted by LordKratos on (November 7, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

Kallis will have your head for breakfast son

Posted by Meety on (November 7, 2012, 1:19 GMT)

@Marcio on (November 07 2012, 00:34 AM GMT) - I thought Warner will only have to play three innings????

Posted by bobagorof on (November 7, 2012, 0:43 GMT)

So much negativity towards Warner - and a lot of it from some Indian posters, I see. I wonder if they're still having sour grapes from last summer. I'm a little disappointed to hear that Warner, like Lyon, was inundated with advice upon joining the Test side and that muddled his game. Of course everyone wants to be helpful, but this seems to be a trend - Hughes, Lyon, Warner. Hopefully he's able to sift through it all and take just the parts that will improve his game, while keeping the fundamentals that have got him there in the first place.

Posted by Marcio on (November 7, 2012, 0:34 GMT)

Let's face it. Warner will have no better opportunity than this to prove himself than this series. He doesn't mind the fastbowlers, especially in Australian conditions. If he can at least get a century and a couple of 50s in the 6 innings he will play, he will have written himself into a team for some time - and silenced the many critics. The thing about Warner is that he can demoralise opponents, and really put them on the back foot. Ian Chappell pointed this out. Even a 30 or 40 from him can really put the team on top. It's not just about the average, but how the runs are made.

Posted by Chris_P on (November 6, 2012, 23:55 GMT)

Do people even read what is stated. Nowhere does he say he will switch hit. In fact in all his tests to date I can't recall him ever switch hitting once. That shot he leaves for the hit & giggle garbage where it belongs. Try reading articles, people, before planting foot in mouth. All he has to do is play the way he has to date. That is why he was selected, that is why he has gone so well, he is a tough little character, with a solid mental approach.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (November 6, 2012, 21:06 GMT)

Warner is a hit or miss player. He's following in the footsteps of his GURU - VEERU Sehwag. A reckless player no doubt but he does have a place in Australia's team. As an opener he could provide the blistering starts and set up a foundation for their middle order to work with. If chasing a target, Warner could set up the chase well. But at the same time, he's a walking wicket. He needs to get rid of a few shots that works well in T20s. Test cricket needs an old fashioned 'TORTOISE' attitude. He needs to LEAVE the ball well and avoid reverse sweeping recklessly.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 16:37 GMT)

better luck next time........

Posted by Rajesh_india_1990 on (November 6, 2012, 14:36 GMT)

He is neither sehwag nor adam gilchrist...he is 'Switch Hit and out' Warner..already one wicket down for australia..:-)

Posted by CricketMaan on (November 6, 2012, 13:46 GMT)

What does he think? Steyn, Morkel and Phil are not Vinay kumars and Ishant Sharmas..neither Tim Southees or Bracewells (though these two are better than Indian trundlers)..You better watchout Warner boy..this ain't IPL!!

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (November 6, 2012, 13:43 GMT)

Ha ha ha, yeah sure - switch-hit them all the way Warner... just like you said you would against England in the last Natwest series. Worked a treat didn't it... If someone like Hughes is at the other end, Clarke and Ponting are really going to have it tough - having to play duel roles as both openers (because they'll have to come out so early in the innings anyway) and middle-order accumulators.

Posted by sawifan on (November 6, 2012, 13:26 GMT)

@CricHorizon. I agree with what u say about a selector not beig too chummy with his team-mates, but Clarke is also the captain and i think he brings the best out of players with his friendly demeanour. He dropped Punter from the ODI team, so i think he can handle hard decisions. I think his friendship with Warnie could prove to be a great asset to this team.

Posted by Hammond on (November 6, 2012, 12:53 GMT)

I was actually in Blacktown Hospital Emergency when Warner went berserk against India last year. I waddled out in my gown with my drip just so I could watch the carnage on the TV in the waiting room. I'm not sure he can keep that up against Steyn & Morkel but if he pulls it off it truly will be remarkable viewing.

Posted by Clan_McLachlan on (November 6, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

Much like Quiney and Cowan, Warner is only in the team because Aus are stacking the top order with lefties to counter Steyn.

Posted by ozwriter on (November 6, 2012, 11:24 GMT)

warner will probably keep his place as he is the sehwag of australia. cowan though should count his days. 150 runs this season at an average of 21 may be foretelling the rest of his summer.

Posted by ozwriter on (November 6, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

as a selector, i do not think it is appropriate for the captain to be all chum chum with the players. its david warner, not "davey". if he is your best mate you will never be able to make the tough decision of dropping him when he ain't performing.

Posted by cricmatters on (November 6, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

It would be interesting to watch how Warner goes against one of the best attacks in Test Cricket. He could be quite entertaining like Sehwag if it clicks however his captain and team would like him to stay a bit longer in the crease so the middle order is not exposed to the new ball too early. I still think injury to Watson is a big blow for Australia and has given SA an edge over Australia.

Posted by HawK89 on (November 6, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

I think it's the right way to go about it. You can't let top bowlers get on top of you, or else you get no where. Put on pressure and make them think twice about their bowling. Great series, can't wait.

Posted by ballonbat on (November 6, 2012, 10:56 GMT)

The Protea bowlers are going to expose the Aussie top order batsman. Ponting will step in, as he has become accustomed to doing recently with three down for next to nothing. I'll be surprised if any of the top three make a 50 in either innings at the Gabba. It will up to Ponting, Clarke and Hussey to make the runs. Philander will get Warner out and Morkel will dismiss Cowan and Quiney cheaply. Proteas to win the match in four days.

Posted by Gordo85 on (November 6, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

Oh well I guess some players never mature then. If you keep on being too agressive and it costs you you only have yourself to blame. I would love to see Warner and Quiney open together and have Cowan at three but that may not happen. There is nothing wrong with going a little bit slower than you normally would. Not to mention David that you are not in great form at the moment and we have seen how you go up and down a little too often. And it is no good thinking that you are one of the best batsmen in the world because lets be honest you are not. You still have to bat don't you?

Posted by Chark_attack on (November 6, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

While I am not a huge fan of having an explosive batsman as an opener in longer forms of the game I do belive that warners best option is to go out swinging as that is his natural game anything else and he will be in trouble.

Posted by jonesy2 on (November 6, 2012, 10:34 GMT)

the thing is, if warner makes runs, he is going to make them at a strike rate of over 80. against NZ at hobart is the most ridiculous swinging conditions on a green pitch he smashed his half century in about 60 odd balls and hughes was still on about 20

Posted by BackOfALength504 on (November 6, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

Very dangerous batter on his day. I think he has what it takes to keep a place in the side. Being consistant over the next 3 test will surely cement him a place. Himself and a fully fit Shane Watson could prove a handful for our Saffer bowlers, though I forsee a brilliantly poised series. Most specially between the #4 batsmen of each team. i.e Kallis & Ponting.

Posted by Pappu_bhai on (November 6, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

But He is not good enough against steyn.I feel he should be a sure bet in Twenty 20 and sometimes in One day.In test they need a better opener.Like Hayden/Langer.

Comments have now been closed for this article

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
Tour Results
Australia v South Africa at Perth - Nov 30-Dec 3, 2012
South Africa won by 309 runs
Australia v South Africa at Adelaide - Nov 22-26, 2012
Match drawn
Australia v South Africa at Brisbane - Nov 9-13, 2012
Match drawn
Australia A v Sth Africans at Sydney - Nov 2-4, 2012
Match drawn
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days