England v Australia, NatWest Series, The Oval June 30, 2012

'Lazy' Warner works to liven up


A lapse that cost David Warner his wicket at Lord's epitomised the details that Australia must get right if they are to inch closer to England in the second ODI at The Oval. Warner admitted to a bout of laziness when facing the swing and seam of Jimmy Anderson, resulting in an edge behind to Craig Kieswetter and the loss of a second critical wicket minutes after George Bailey's departure.

There were a few areas in which Michael Clarke's men fell short in the series opener, not least the bowlers' inability to contain a rampant Eoin Morgan in the closing overs of England's innings. Clarke was involved in a catastrophic run-out that ended a promising innings by Matthew Wade, and a handful of lax fielding efforts also helped the hosts win their first ODI against Australia at Lord's since 1997.

Warner had played pugnaciously and well for his 56, but six runs after Bailey had dragged Anderson onto the stumps, he failed to use his feet sufficiently to cover a ball going across him, and snicked it to a diving Kieswetter. Characteristically blunt, Warner said it was the kind of dismissal he should not be allowing himself in England, where the ball can always move the fraction required to defeat a batsman using his hands alone.

"It's me thinking that I'm in and I shouldn't be doing that," Warner said. "It's laziness, that's all it comes down to. Early on I'll be getting across to that and playing the ball on its merits, but as you get in you get a little bit tired, but what you tend to do is you know there's no slips and you think you can get away with just working it down to third man or through extra cover.

"That's my game, I've got to learn from that, get my feet across, not be so lazy through that period, and capitalise on that. You're never in when you're over here, and it was a little bit lazy myself. If I go back there again I'd have used my feet a bit more and tried to work it into the gap for a single."

Among the other critical differences between the two innings was the fact that in the drier afternoon conditions, England were able to get the ball to reverse swing. Tim Bresnan's second spell was much enhanced by the fact he was getting the ball to bend, and a curving full toss was to account for Clarke. Warner said the visitors had struggled to do similar in the morning, when numerous rain breaks kept the outfield damp and the ball less dry.

"With the square that's out there at Lord's and the Oval, the ball's going to be thrown in and going to be hitting the dirt, it's going to allow that one part to get scuffed up a lot," Warner said. "So if the guys work on the ball, keep one side shiny enough to get it going reverse it can prove crucial. Tim Bresnan got a couple to go pretty big, which is good for him, but we've got to try to counteract it and work out how we can play that."

Before he names his team for the second ODI, Clarke will consider his best use of the wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, whose sprightly batting seems under-utilised at No. 7. "He can bat anywhere and he's shown that again," Clarke said of Wade. "He's a wonderful talent, a good striker of the ball.

"It's tough because he plays the new ball well and he's quite positive, but in that middle order he's very good at the death as well, he strikes the ball cleanly. Trying to work out what's best for the team, that's probably the most important thing for us at the moment, try to work out the best batting line-up for our team with the players we have and back and support that."

Clarke will also think again how best to use Steve Smith, who he considers an allrounder but remains reluctant to bowl. Smith's batting looked far from likely to trouble England at Lord's, though he has been cast in the kind of role usually ascribed to the far more experienced Michael Hussey.

"Smithy's a very talented allrounder, as we've seen for a while now," Clarke said. "He can bat, bowl and is as good as anyone in the field. I'd love to see him put his hand up and make some runs, he's batting at No. 6, a crucial position not having Michael Hussey here, and if he gets the opportunity with the ball, he's been bowling every day in the nets and it looks like it's coming out of his hand well."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on July 2, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    @zenboomerang- Hello - Re Hughes - I think he has played at 3 or 4 for Worcs but opened when he played in tests vs Eng. Not sure what his natural position is. Anyway I guess they can't call other players up unless there are injuries. I thought Aus might call up another player to replace Cummings. As Starc is already here in England there would be no visa issues/travelling etc. I wonder though if they would have to pay Yorks compensation , which could be a stumbling block. I don't want to jump the gun here as Eng are only 2 up and could still lose the series but if Starc continues his good form then his inclusion could be the difference between Aus staying number 1 and going down to 2 and I'm not saying Eng will realistically win 5-0 butI believe Eng play SA before Aus play again and SA could take over the no 1 if Aus don't perform

  • Roo on July 2, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    @JG2704... Agree on where our teams are at, but Eng are a very settled team compared to Oz in all 3 formats so expect Eng to move ahead steadily while Oz have some major hurdles to overcome - especially our selectors methodology... Interesting call on Hughes - yet to play ODI's but his record in List A is good... Klinger & Cooper had good OD summers & are in the upcoming Aust A matches... Starc - very unlucky, had a good summer in the Oz OD'ers last summer & not a bunny with the bat - would have picked him ahead of Smith & moved Johnson to no.7... Starc also has shown to be more durable than his contempories in recent times...

  • John on July 1, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    @5wombats on (July 01 2012, 10:52 AM GMT) I believe you and both I and JM were meerly correcting him , no picking a fight there. I've read his posts and he obviously has no agenda

  • Christopher on July 1, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    The failing with Warner's game continues to be that his game only works at absolute maximum.Anywhere below that,it becomes fallible.Most players operate at less intense levels that can be maintained with consistency over long periods.His dismissal fits with a handful of areas to which he is prone when operating slightly below peak,particularly to balls bouncing outside off stump.Early in his innings,the short ball on or outside leg or the off-spinner over the wicket can bring him undone before he hits full stride.I'd like to see far less said by the players in the media.It inevitably ends up with them having egg on their faces.Just read through the last half a dozen statements by Warner,Cummins,Watson and Clarke in articles on this site.Not one of them correct.He followed the Lords innings by making 10 invalidating this article.I believe the old school method of peerless performance and subsequent gracious acknowledgement is far superior to the current hype regime & lack of results.

  • Martin on July 1, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    Guys - don't pick a fight with @Marcio. He's always right and never suffers from selective amnesia. He was right about the Tests at Melbourne and Sydney and he hasn't forgotten about the 4 ODI wins for England in the UAE either.

  • Don on July 1, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    Well obviously he hasn't worked hard enough, he was all at sea today could have been out to six of the twenty balls he faced quite easily.

  • Matthew on July 1, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    Smith is neither a good bowler or batsman and to have him in the team as a specialist of either, or an allrounder is one of the first really bad calls of the new selection committee. Hopefully he isn't one of 'Clarke's players' that gets special treatment.

  • John on July 1, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    @RandyOZ on (July 01 2012, 08:41 AM GMT), as you were at pains to point out in an earlier post, we are talking about ODIs here so I would hardly say that England failed against Pakistan, given that they beat them 4-0. Did word not get back to Australia about that series? How come I heard about it then?

  • John on July 1, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    @Marcio on (July 01 2012, 08:41 AM GMT), are you having a brain fade? England lost the Test series in UAE 0-3 and then won the ODI series 4-0. That's also more recent than either of the series you mention, so maybe England are on the improve. You really are trying to ignore their success aren't you? ;-)

  • John on July 1, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    @Marcio on (July 01 2012, 04:50 AM GMT) By the same token , since Eng lost to Australia 6-1 , the only series they have lost is away to India (albeit 5-0) and they beat the same team 3-0 at home and before this series we'd won 6 ODI's in a row so we can all find stats to slate a side or big up a side. IMO Australia are a better test side now than what they showed in the last Ashes and Eng are a better OD side , but until anyone officially ousts them they are both top of their respective fmts. As for Smith , I just see it as pointless having a number 7 in the side who doesn't bowl or keep wicket. We had a similar scenario with Luke Wright. You may as well have either a batsman - Rogers,Vogues,Hughes etc or a bowler Starc would be my man

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