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June 22, 2012
David Warner has promised to turn his savage switch-hit on England in the forthcoming ODI series, and believes Graeme Swann may not be the only spinner he will have the chance to try it against. Following a sprightly 74 for the Australians in their opening tour match against Leicestershire at Grace Road, Warner predicted the inclusion of Samit Patel beside Swann in England's preferred XI for the five-match series.
Alongside Kevin Pietersen, now retired from ODIs and Twenty20 internationals, Warner has shown a penchant for switch-hitting that has challenged the game's bowlers - not to mention lawmakers - in adapting to the audacious change of stance as a spinner delivers the ball. He first showed its effectiveness in T20 club competition, before unleashing it on India's R Ashwin in limited-overs matches in Australia last summer. Should Alastair Cook hand the ball to Swann at a time when Warner is at the crease, Australia's combative opener suggested he would not take long in abandoning orthodoxy.
"If I get the opportunity and they're willing to put Swanny on early, I'll definitely be playing the switch-hit," Warner said. "It has to be a period in the game where it's necessary for me to play it. If I find I'm bogged down a little or if I find there's a scoring shot or I want to move a fielder, I'll play that shot so he has two men behind point.
"That's in the back of my mind, what I want to do to manipulate the field how I want to work it. I think they might play two spinners against us, I think Patel will come in and they might only play three quicks. So it depends where we're playing as well, but that's what I think they're going to do and obviously the switch-hit probably might come out."
England's management showed their wariness of Australia, meanwhile, by dispatching the video analyst Gemma Broad to Leicester to take footage of the touring bowlers. She paid particular attention to getting a striker's-eye-view of the young Victorian fast man James Pattinson in his two-over burst with the new ball at the start of the Leicestershire innings.
Such eye-level footage is of the kind used in both England and Australia for the use of the Pro-Batter device, which projects a bowler's action onto a screen before firing a ball from a bowling machine at a point of delivery calibrated to match that of the real thing, thus recreating the feeling of facing an opponent. Well-versed as he is with the level of analysis now taking place on both sides, Warner was not concerned by Broad's presence.
"Just think it's giving her something to do actually, to be honest," he said. "That's what happens, we get all the footage anyway, it doesn't matter ... she's probably just doing some extra work. There's a data program around the world that all the countries get and we use anyway, so there's nothing that we haven't seen before.
"She'd definitely be trying to get some extra footage of us in these conditions. Definitely some of us never playing before in England so they probably want a bit of footage for us, but at the end of the day they've got to stand up at their mark and bowl at us."
Having opened up with the wicketkeeper Matthew Wade at Grace Road, Warner was unsure whether Wade or Shane Watson would accompany him at the top of the order in the ODIs against England, or the one-off match against Ireland on Saturday that precedes them. However he felt confident of his adjustment to softer English surfaces after looking comfortable at the crease in Australia's first match of the tour.
"Obviously for my game it's trying to pull it in a little bit because it does a lot early, especially in Durham it's going to in the morning," Warner said. "But I have to keep going about my game how I do, and if it requires adjustment then I'm going to adjust."
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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