Warner has to learn that not all deliveries can be thumped to the boundary
Australia captain Michael Clarke has announced that even though team-mate and opening batsman David Warner is an exceptional player, he has to learn when to apply the brakes and take a more defensive standpoint, especially if the team happens to be in a spot of bother.
During the three-Test series against South Africa and Sri Lanka, Warner threw his wicket away by needlessly chasing after an extremely wide delivery, which failed to help his or Australia’s cause.
Warner’s attacking mindset is very similar to that of former batsman Michael Slater, who lost his place in the national side in October 1996 after playing a ridiculous stroke against India.
Upon his return in 1998, Slater started to become more controlled and calm at the crease, which helped him make his highest Test score of 219 against Sri Lanka.
As of right now, if Warner is not careful, he could be heading down the same path as Taylor, which would be a big blow to his self confidence and to the team as a whole since they cannot afford to lose their opening batsman at the present minute, given the outstanding form he has been in across all three formats.
Clarke is hoping that Warner can teach himself not to go after every delivery and instead look to play a little more defensively.
“The one thing we need to understand with Davey is the same ball he got out on in Perth, we’re all standing and clapping in Adelaide when it went over cover or went over slips for four,” Clarke said. “That’s the way he plays. The only thing I continue to say to Davey is make sure you’ve got that good intent, and by that good intent I mean more in his mind than the actual shot. Because when Davey’s intent’s right, his defence is better, his attacking shots are better. He plays his best when he’s looking to score runs, there’s no doubt about it.
“Yes we all have to work on shot selection at certain times in your innings, but I think Davey for the start of his Test career, three hundreds he’s scored now, he’s doing pretty well. Like all of us, we’d love to be more consistent and score runs every time we walk out to bat. Sometimes he doesn’t look great when he gets out, but the other side is he’s got that x-factor. He can take a game away from any team in the first session of a Test match really. Not too many players in the world have that talent. At the moment I’m really happy with how he’s going, he was disappointed with the way he got out. But more than ‘don’t play the shot’, it’s about working in the nets to execute that shot better.”
When out in the middle, Warner is known to be much more of a nervous character than most people would believe and it is only after he has smashed a couple of deliveries to the boundary that he starts to settle down.
Clarke stated that he was not asking Warner to completely give up his attacking strokeplay, but pointed out that he would like him to play the way he when he scored his first Test century against New Zealand, where he balanced out the number of aggressive and defensive shots he played.
“That’s what you learn as a young player don’t you,” Clarke said. “The conditions in Perth are different to Adelaide, and what we’re going to see here. I think one of Davey’s greatest innings was the hundred we saw here in really tough batting conditions, but he still had that great intent. On a wicket that was doing a lot he was looking to score runs, but his shot selection was spot on and perfect that innings. In a perfect world you’d love to bottle that and say play like that every time, but there’s got to be a bit of give and take with Davey.”