'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