Australia news September 25, 2013

Australia batting needs 'clarity' - Warner

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As he set aside last year's acrimonious exit to return to the Sydney Thunder franchise, David Warner called for continuity in Australia's Test batting line-up during the forthcoming Ashes series, after the unsettling changes swung in England by the new coach Darren Lehmann and the captain Michael Clarke.

While England maintained the same top six until the series was won, Lehmann preferred a constant shuffle that seemed only to rest on a productive combination in the fifth Test at the Oval after all other avenues had been exhausted. Warner was tried as a middle-order batsman before returning to the top alongside Chris Rogers, and said he was hoping for a clear path forward in the home series.

"You just want some clarity," Warner told ESPNcricinfo. "It's a word that's been popping up the last 12 months with us in the Australian team, and I think now they've found the right combination. I thoroughly enjoyed batting with Chris out there, he's a quiet guy, he kept me going. If I played a false shot he didn't come down and say, 'Don't play that'. It was more like, 'Alright mate, next one, wait for the right one' and we'd feed off each other very well.

"Darren's the new coach, and he knows how we all play, but under different situations of the game and scenarios it gave him an insight about where you can bat and how well you can bat. So it's good for him to see what our batsmen can do and our bowlers, and hopefully they've got everything set in stone come the first Test."

Warner referred to the hype around the visit to England as something of a distraction, quite apart from the misadventures in Birmingham - labelled "despicable" by the Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland - that cost him his place until the third match in Manchester. While quipping he was glad to see Joe Root making the tour, Warner acknowledged the height of England's chosen pace battery as an area requiring preparation.

"Leading into this Ashes series hopefully the hype's not as big as it was in England, because we know we just lost the key moments," he said. "We know that over here, we'll be right on top of those key moments. Hard wickets, home advantage, they're not going to be as slow as they were over there, and with our bowlers being fresh going into that first Test, I'm pretty sure we'll be ready to go.

"They've got some tall bowlers and some bounce there definitely. They'll use it to their advantage. We've just got to go to our training sessions. For the last 12 months, a lot of us have been training with a guy standing on a big board and getting throw downs. We've got some tall fast bowlers as well, which get up around the ears and you've got to play it how it is. We're not scared at all."

The sight of Warner again modelling a Thunder shirt at Sydney's Olympic Stadium was not a possibility many would have predicted a year ago, when he quit the Big Bash League team after falling out with the general manager John Dyson. Warner's reservations about the organisation of the team were to be backed up at summer's end, when the team's poor performance and questionable administration resulted in a complete overhaul by CA and Cricket New South Wales.

Dyson has been replaced by Nick Cummins, a widely experienced corporate operative, while the team's highest profile signing is no longer the flashy Chris Gayle but the consummate team man, Michael Hussey. "Obviously there were a bit of personal issues with me and John, nothing to do with the coaching staff," Warner admitted. "But that's how it is and now we look forward to this season. I always said I was going to come back to the guys here, so I'm looking forward to the challenge again.

"Led by Huss, the guys who aspire to play at the top level and get that baggy green, he's one guy who you can just look up to, the way he trains and goes about things, his character's going to be fantastic for the guys in that team. I know when I was first here guys were rocking up late to training, just doing little hits here and there and not progressing. I know with Huss and his work ethic and experience, he's going to lead by example."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • espncricinfomobile on September 29, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    I think Warner is the Michael Slater of the 2000s no marks for consistency but on his day can be a match winner ie his 100 against South Africa just last summer .he will in the 2015 World Cup and will be among first picked .

  • popcorn on September 28, 2013, 3:38 GMT

    I will give you clarity, Mr.David Warner - it should be so obvious to the naked eye. You are NOT Test Cricket material. You are undependable.You get out cheaply. You flash outside the off stump. You have poor technique for Test Cricket.We cannot believe that you will lay a solid foundation like Chris Rogers. You are ESSENTIALLY a ODI and T20 player. But your immaturity prevents the Selectors from considering you EVEN for the ODIs on the India Tour. So visit a shrink,get real,then maybe, we will consider you two years from now.

  • anton1234 on September 26, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    My top six will be Warner, Rogers, Watson, Clarke, Klinger, Smith. Klinger has done really well since moving to South Australia; he has also made a lot of runs for Gloucestershire in England.

  • Chris_P on September 25, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    Agree with Warner. he should only be selected for home matches (where he averages 50) & not selected for away matches (averages 25 ) with the possible exception of SA. Currently, we should be seriously be selecting "horses for courses" criteria as players mostly cannot adapt to different conditions like past players.

  • riverbaby11 on September 25, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    From an Indian observer enjoying Australia's declining batting riches - Australia's young batsmen need to stop spouting opinions to press , tweeting , writing columns and just learn to bat longer. I think he's foolish; he alone talks more in one day than Mark Waugh did in his entire career.

  • dummy4fb on September 25, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    @Jono Makim: I don't think it's a general issue of "lefties" as such - plenty of right-handers, not just from Australia, have lost wickets a few times against Swann too. I just think it's an issue with the players and their ability to play spin in general. Chris Rogers lost wickets against Swann as a result of inexplicable brain fades that were brought on by errors committed by the batsmen at the other end - like Watson's needless reviews, etc. I think Rogers is a better player than that suggests and he might play Swann better in the return series. Phil Hughes, though, struggles against Swann not just because he's a "leftie" but because he's just weak against spin. He struggled to rotate the strike or keep out the likes of Ashwin and Jadeja in India. He's still young and has time to improve, but he would be a risk for Australia if they pick him. Usman Khawaja, too, looks tentative against slow bowling.

  • android_user on September 25, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    Australian batting needs overhalling starting with axing hughes cowan warner watson wade and maxwell. where are talented youngsters in Australian domestic system.?? dark days ahead for them with series against England and Sa.

  • dummy4fb on September 25, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    As mentioned by a number of people here, Warner needs to worry about his own batting more than what the selectors are thinking - it's a non-issue if he's scoring lots of runs!

    @hhillbumper: Of course we don't like seeing our team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, that used to be a Pommy national hobby! What we also don't like seeing is a superior Eng team (as much as I hate to admit it having grown up watching the Poms get all hyped up only to witness another false dawn) resort to deliberate negative tactics to win - or worse, draw - a Test match. That's why beating you guys in this series would be such a fantastic achievement and feel great too!

  • dummy4fb on September 25, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    @Steve Back, Rogers has been pretty good so far, he does need to find a way of picking singles against Swann though. I know he is a decent spinner but quite why our lefties struggle against him as badly as they do is beyond me, lucky we have Clarke and Smith to counter him somewhat.

  • dummy4fb on September 25, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    I think Chris Rogers is a better equipped Test batsman than David Warner. Rogers will go fine against Anderson, Broad, and Finn (not so sure about Swann), probably, but Warner is still a bit inconsistent.

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