Swann’s retirement is ‘a knockout blow’ for England, says David Warner

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“It is weird, with Trotty going home and now Swanny retiring, it is a bit different for us”

Australia opening batsman David Warner has announced that England off-spinner Graeme Swann’s sudden retirement is a “knockout blow” for the tourists, especially since there are still two Tests left in the series.

Warner also noted that it was “weird” for England to be feeling the heat, but added that he couldn’t blame them since they had lost batsman Jonathan Trott to a stress-related illness and Swann to retirement.

“In a way it’s different, it’s like a little bit of a knockout blow,” Warner said. “It is weird, with Trotty going home and now Swanny retiring, it is a bit different for us. We look at that and we don’t know what to think, in a way. But credit to us, we’re playing good cricket, we’re 3-0 up leading into a Boxing Day Test.”

Even though Australia’s mindset was to attack Swann right from the beginning of the series, Warner revealed that he found Monty Panesar’s bowling “a little bit easier to play”.

“It’s probably a little bit easier to play, if I can say, but we’ve still got to treat Monty Panesar with the respect we do Graeme Swann because they are both world-class bowlers,” Warner said. “You saw Monty in India, basically he and Swanny won the series over there.”

However, Warner also warned England that he intends to play his natural aggressive game when facing Panesar or any other bowler for that matter.

“That’s probably the thing that’s been high on my list now, is not thinking too far ahead,” Warner said. “I’m thinking about today’s training session instead of day one, Boxing Day, because that’s what’s ahead of me. We live in the present, not the future, that’s all I’ve been working on.

“I think it had a lot to do with Michael Lloyd, our sports psych. I probably did get too far ahead of myself and was playing each innings in my mind probably 10 or 15 times. I’ve worked out a way to keep thinking about the now instead of what’s going to happen in a couple of days’ time.”

But, before the Boxing Day Test gets underway tomorrow, Warner will have to change his mindset from Twenty20 cricket to Test cricket after having scored a half-century for the Sydney Thunder in their opening Big Bash League (BBL) game against the Sydney Sixers.

“It was bizarre when I was out there and I was commentating, I was just playing my natural strokes and nothing really came into my mind with slogging,” Warner said. “In Twenty20 we do slog a fair bit, but it all just seemed so natural when I was out there. It is sometimes tough to adjust from Test to Twenty20s, now I’ve come back to play a Boxing Day Test it is going to be a little bit different if I see the first one up there but I’ll still play the way I play.”

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