Warner is sick and tired of giving his wicket away
Australia opening batsman David Warner believes that South Africa’s batsmen get distracted way too easily and added that they need to work on their concentration in order to hold on to the number one Test team ranking for a long period of time.
Warner especially highlighted the fact that many of his team-mates started to get agitated when South African batsmen pulled out just as a bowler was coming in to bowl a ball.
Young pace bowler James Pattinson and South Africa captain Graeme Smith exchanged words after Smith pulled out at the last minute when a bird flew across his eye-line and Warner believes that the issue of movement behind the sight-screen has been over-dramatised by many batsmen in the past couple of years.
“I don’t think you saw any of our players stop once because of guys walking behind the sight screen,” Warner said. “I don’t know how you can be that distracted or what they’re looking at or what they’re seeing. They’ve got to try and take those little distractions out of their mind because that could be something that’s detracting from their game and preventing them from staying out there for longer periods.
“If the guy’s in the fourth tier at the MCG and you see someone move, you’re looking way too much and you’re too distracted. The other day AB de Villiers played a ball when the sight-screen was still on the advertising board, so if he’s just concentrating on the specifics of the bowler then that’s fantastic. But someone is moving away because a guy is peaking his head behind the sight screen – if you’re picking those little things up I think you’re not watching the bowler hard enough.”
Warner also noted that he wanted bowlers to work harder to get him out and even sought advice from the veteran batting trio of Australia captain Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey in an attempt to gain any tips in better protecting his wicket.
The flamboyant opener attributed his cheap dismissals in the longer format to the fact that he has played a lot of ODI and Twenty20 cricket over the past couple of months.
“[To play] three forms, as I’ve found out in the last 12-18 months, [has] been mad, it’s been hectic,” Warner added. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, but now I start respecting the guys who’ve played for the last 10 years, I talk to guys like Ricky and Michael and Huss about how they mentally get through it all, and they say to us you’ve just got to try to find some time off somewhere in the year to take your mind off cricket. Any week you get off you try to spend it at home or just doing the little things you can to help cricket in Australia.”
Warner has also studied his opening partner Ed Cowan and was inspired by his concentration levels during the first Test against South Africa at Brisbane, where he scored his maiden Test century.
“Ed leaves a lot of balls that I’m probably playing at and that’s what I’m learning up the other end,” Warner said. “He probably leaves a couple of good length balls when I’m fending at them and shouldn’t have to, it gives me another role to think about as well. You talk about respecting some good balls, and some of those good balls I can probably take on and would take on, but I have to start respecting my wicket a little bit more, and being a bit more consistent.
“You can hit endless amounts of balls and then, like the other day, come out and nick one. But you train for that and you’ve got to try and switch your mind to it. You can’t go back to the change room and think ‘this is crap, I prepared so well, how do I just nick one all of a sudden’? You can’t let that get you down.”