Dave Warner shows he has the game for the subcontinent

Giri Subramanian Roar Guru

By , Giri Subramanian is a Roar Guru

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    David Warner has been one of the best openers in world cricket for few years now. His ability to dominate attacks and take the game away from the opposition makes him one of the most dangerous batsman in world cricket.

    The biggest criticism levelled against Warner has been his lack of runs away from home, especially in the subcontinent. Prior to the current Bangladesh series, Warner had only played in India and Sri Lanka and did not have a single hundred in both those countries. His average was a paltry 25.

    Warner did have a good series in UAE against Pakistan but his frailties against spin was seen again in Sri Lanka last year and in India earlier this year. Warner does not have major technical issues against spin. He has experience facing them in the Indian Premier League and scores plenty of runs. Even though the format is completely different, the basics remain the same.

    While watching Warner bat in India earlier this year, it looked like he was a little rushed against Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. He was not ready to play out the difficult spells and often got out trying to play across the line.

    Steve Smith, who scored plenty of runs in India, was an ideal example of how a player should bat against spin. Warner was quite the opposite. In a series where the spinners regularly bowled with the new ball, Warner got off to decent starts most of the time, only to throw it away with poor shots. It was evident that the issue was not with his technique but with his temperament.

    Warner plays most of his games in Australia where the ball comes nicely on to the bat. Spinners don’t get enough turn and it is easy to hit through the line. On the contrary, in the subcontinent the ball turns a lot and often does not come on to the bat. The adjustment is enormous and it takes a huge effort from the player to be successful. David Warner, from what I saw earlier this year in India, wasn’t prepared to make the adjustment.

    When the Australian team travelled to Bangladesh last month it was evident that Warner had to turn it around for Australia. After being dismissed cheaply in the first innings of the first Test, he played a sublime innings of 112 in the second.

    This wasn’t a typical subcontinent grind, but it was Warner’s most fluent knock in recent times. He played more towards the cover and mid-off and was in control 85 per cent of the time, a damning statistic when you consider the nature of the pitch.

    Even though Australia lost the first Test, Warner has turned a corner in his career. He has built on that century and has batted wonderfully in the second Test, putting Australia in pole position.

    The confidence Warner has gained from the Bangladesh series will hold him in good stead when he visits the subcontinent again. He is a brilliant player and an exciting batsman to watch and with the last couple innings against Bangladesh he has shown that he has the necessary technique to succeed on subcontinental wickets as well.