Warner credited Ashwin for having his plans against him, but also said he was working in the nets to tackle the offspinner better.
“Nine times now I think. If a bowler bowls from one end for the whole day at you, you are going to succumb…Credit to him…Poor judgment also from my behalf. It happens in the game of cricket,” Warner told a group of Australian journalists on Saturday (March 11) in Bangalore. “He is a world-class bowler and in his backyard he is challenging. Yes, I am working on a few things in the nets. But at the end of the day you are going out there and trying to do your best. I know he is going to be at one end for the whole time I am out there, and at the other end I have got another spinner or a quick so I have got to negate that (as well).”
Glenn Maxwell, one of the members of the Australian Test squad in India, has tried playing the switch-hit against Ashwin in white-ball cricket. Warner said he has been thinking about that option, but the nature of the pitches in the series so far have not allowed him to trust himself to pull off that shot.
“The last Test I was contemplating that (switch hit). I tried to play a reverse sweep. The only concern for me was the variable bounce,” he offered. “That’s always the challenging thing because if you miss that and you switch-hit you can still be lbw, but if you reverse you can’t. So you’ve got to be careful.
When asked if he had any specific plans to tackle Ashwin, Warner said, “No, not at all because I know in my mind if I play one shot, he will change something. I know if he tries something I am thinking in the back of my mind how I am going to score. That’s the way I think. And that’s credit to him. He is a fantastic bowler. He has got a lot of wickets in his backyard and I have got to respect that.”
Warner was given lbw while sweeping in the second innings in Bangalore, though he might consider himself a tad unfortunate because of the three markers, two were ‘umpire’s call’ and since he had been ruled out on the field, the review couldn’t save him.
“I did have a look at it and I had a chat with myself. From where I stood it looked like it wasn’t out but they always said there was a bit of an error here,” he explained. “So unless we can see that when you’re out there we would like to see that, but they said there is a bit of error and we decided to accept that.”
Cheteshwar Pujara added spice to the battle between Warner and Ashwin by reminding the Australian about his poor record. Warner said it was part and parcel of the game, and he was not reading much into it.
“At the end of the day, you don’t really take much notice of it. When you first get out there everyone’s talking so you can’t really understand what they are saying anyway. When you’ve got four or five men around the bat constantly, you are going to hear some kind of stuff. But half the time I don’t even understand,” Warner said. “Well, you just do what you have to do. Wait for him to stop talking and face up and face the bowler. And as I said, they came out and said they don’t sledge. So I think it’s just banter.”
The Pujara-Warner “banter” was just one episode in what turned out to be an acrimonious Test with an ugly confrontation on and off the field. With the respective boards of the countries having called a truce, Warner said he had no problem shaking hands with his opponents when they meet for the third Test that will begin from March 16 in Ranchi.
“It was an interesting Test match to be a part of. I think it was a great one for cricket, as in the kind of cricket that was played,” he said. “There were a few niggles here and there and off the field, but at the end of the day we are professionals and you got to move on from that stuff. Hopefully both teams will come out and play with the spirit of cricket. At the end of the day, there are going to be a lot of niggles here and there around certain things. I think a few people just got out of hand, and everyone’s trying to get back in again. We are looking forward to getting out in Ranchi and playing a great brand of cricket.”
Australia will be without Mitchell Starc, who suffered a stress fracture on his right foot, for the remainder of the series, but Warner was hopeful of Pat Cummins, who played his only Test in 2011 and is himself injury prone, filling in the gap adequately.
“Obviously we are gutted for Mitchell and it’s almost been 13-14 Tests now that he has gone through and all the one-dayers. To end half-way through a Test series that he had been looking forward to is always disappointing,” said Warner. “We wish him all the best, and with Patty as his replacement we are going to have the firepower there, if the selectors go that way.
“Congratulations to Pat. It’s been a long time. He has been working his backside off to get his body right,” said Warner of the young pacer who was the Man of the Match in the only Test he played. “It is great to see him come back and play the Shield game the other day. He has got a lot of pace, which he will bring in. That’s something we always talk about. You got to have someone who is a spearhead quick. That’s always been the Australian approach. He has got the firepower. I am really excited for him, and the team can’t wait for him to get over here.
“We know he has got the pace, the skill, however how the Indians approach that is how they do, but we know we have firepower. For us it is about putting our best in the park and getting them jumping around, but at the moment on these wickets, it doesn’t seem too many people will be on the back foot.”
Source: Wisden India