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February 15, 2012
David Warner has admitted he is still a novice in ODI cricket and understands why he was passed over for the stand-in captaincy of the Australian team for Friday's CB series match against Sri Lanka in Sydney.
While Steve Waugh has expressed his surprise at former captain Ricky Ponting being preferred to lead the team in Michael Clarke's enforced absence due to injury, Warner said he was happy to have been excused from the additional pressure of taking the captaincy after making a quiet start to the ODIs. He also acknowledged his own modest record in the format - 268 runs at 20.61 in 13 matches - as a valid reason not to thrust the top job upon him just yet.
"It's exactly what John [Inverarity] said, basically telling me what I already knew about being under Michael Clarke and getting some experience for future years and hopefully lead the country one day," Warner said at the Sydney Children's Hospital. "I'm thoroughly enjoying that role behind Michael there and obviously appointing Ricky as captain is due to his experience and an opportunity for me to be under him as well, he's led the country for many years and I'm looking forward to being his vice [captain].
"I've not had a great start to the one-day series and I'm looking to put numbers on the board. The selectors have noted they don't want to put any extra pressure on myself, and I felt the same thing and agreed with what they had to say. I take that on board and I thoroughly respect the decision.
"I'm still learning the one-day game as I've said to people about Test cricket. Test cricket was all about me trying to set a foundation for myself and a base for how to go about my game and I've established that at the moment. Now it's back to one-day cricket, where I've got to focus on what works for me at the top of the order, how to approach my game, it's not T20 cricket, I've got 50 overs and I'm still going about that how I am, I'm still talking to the experienced guys like Michael Hussey, Punter and Michael Clarke as well."
Communication has been raised as an issue for kicking around over the past few days, particularly relating to Brad Haddin's uncertain public standing in relation to the national team. However the players appear comfortable with the messages being relayed to them from the selectors, as Warner, David Hussey and Shane Watson all stated when asked about their dealings with Inverarity's panel.
"I think the selectors in my case have always been thorough with me, they've said what I had to do to get back into the team," Warner said. "That was two years ago with the one-day stuff as well, and looking to the future before I made my Test debut, they were always calling me, saying 'you're close, but some big runs on the board and you're in line'. They have always been thorough with me and I've respected what they have done to date by me."
Hussey said he had perceived very little change between the panel as led by Andrew Hilditch and the current one helmed by Inverarity. "I haven't noticed any changes at all," Hussey said. "All I know is John's called me to come back to the Australian ODI team and Twenty20 team so I am very happy with the communication thus far and hope it continues."
As for Watson, who expressed the view that Haddin had been left "in limbo", the allrounder said his own dealings with the current selection panel had been clear and concise on his somewhat convoluted road back from injury.
"I have [had communication], especially through the first couple of weeks and a month I had contact with the selectors," he said. "But in the end the most important thing for me is to get fit because it doesn't matter what you say when you're not playing you need to be out there playing to be able to show what you can do."
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
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