Updated: January 2, 2021 11:53:58 am
David Warner is very happy for his Sunrisers Hyderabad teammate Thangarasu Natarajan’s Test call-up but he is “not sure” if the Tamil Nadu left-arm seamer can consistently hit one length, over after over, in the traditional format.
Natarajan, after a hugely successful IPL, joined the Indian contingent as a net bowler but has subsequently risen up the ranks to make his ODI and T20 International debuts.
Asked if Natarajan can translate his T20 success in the Test match arena, his IPL franchise captain gave an interesting reply.
“Good question but I am not too sure. You guys would be knowing his (Natarajan) Ranji Trophy stats and how he delivers day in and day out.
“I know he has line and lengths to do that, but obviously, back to back overs in a Test match? I am not a hundred percent sure,” Warner said during a virtual news conference on Saturday.
However, Warner added that just like Mohammed Siraj, who has shown his wares in red ball cricket at the first-class level, Natarajan would be able to do the same.
“I know a fair bit about Siraj and how well he has gone in Ranji Trophy, him backing up with repeated amount of overs. Given how his (Siraj’s debut) debut went, I am hopeful, Nattu will be able to do the same if he is included in that Test squad,” Warner said.
He was all praise for the 29-year-old, who missed the birth of his first child as he was occupied with IPL and national team engagements.
New Year. Renewed Energy.💪
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 2, 2021
“I think it’s a great reward for Nattu. I think given that he was coming over here after missing the birth of his child to be a net bowler and then being injected into the actual squad is a great achievement for him and congratulations to him.
“He is a very, very good bowler and I got to see that and captain him for Sunrisers Hyderabad. I wish him all the best and if he does get that opportunity, we know he will be comfortable and will know what he has to do.” PTI KHS KHS
Highly doubtful that I will be fully fit for third Test: Warner
Australia’s number one opener David Warner on Saturday said he is “highly doubtful” about attaining full fitness ahead of the third Test against India though he will do everything possible to respond to a deseperate selection panel and team management’s call.
Warner sustained a groin tear during the second ODI against India and has been racing against time to get fit for the January 7-11 third Test after missing the first two matches where Joe Burns and Matthew Wade failed to live up to the expectations.
Asked about his fitness update, Warner put things as it is.
The holiday season and cricket – the perfect combination, as Australians all over the country picked up a bat and ball.
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) December 31, 2020
“We have got training sessions today and tomorrow, so I can’t give you any more indications where I am at. I haven’t trained last couple of days but after today and tomorrow will give me a better indication of where I am. Am I going to be hundred percent? Highly doubtful,” Warner said during a virtual media conference.
Cricket Australia and the team management’s desperation was felt from his next statement.
“… But I will be doing everything to get on that park and play. Even if that means that I am not a hundred percent, I will be doing everything that I can if the selectors give me that green light,” the dashing left-hander said.
Warner said that during a few net sessions, he didn’t try to lunge forward but knows that adrenaline takes over once the game begins.
“Batting in the nets the other day, it probably helped me as I had to wait for the ball to be pitched in my area and I didn’t throw my hands at it and tried playing nice and tight. It’s funny in saying that.
“Look, for me, there will be some restrictions here and there. I think when you get into a game, adrenaline takes over, you sort of don’t cast any doubts that you can’t play those shots.
“But, at the moment, yeah, there are a few shots where if you are lunging then….”
His priority, more than range of shots, would be to check whether he is able to tap and run those quick singles.
“For me if its about my speed between wickets, that’s all that matters, nothing else. More than what shots I can or can’t play, it’s about being able to drop and run, help the other guy.
“These are things I want to be 100 percent fit for and in this case I am not going to be,” his statement made it clear that he was being pushed into playing even before his body would permit.
Another big concern will be whether he can dive or stretch on his left and right while taking catches and field at leg slip or leg gully when off-spinner Nathan Lyon is in operation.
“It’s about being smart and if I feel that I can do my duty and That’s like standing in the slip cordon and taking catches to my left and right. If there’s a hindrance in terms of field position, that will determine, if I will play or not.
“I know I can manage running between the wickets and manage the shot making that I have.
“It’s about having the capacity to manage catching balls to left and right of myself and even with Gaza (Lyon) bowling, in first slip and leg slip, it’s about being agile enough to make sure that I am taking those chances.
“Because if I am not, I don’t want to be dropping those chances and not giving my team best chance of taking them.”
Another example of desperation was about his rehab programme which included taking pain killer injection shots and that, he said, wasn’t a pleasant experience.
Everyone is allowed a bit of slump: Warner comes to Smith’s defence
Once in a while, everyone is allowed a bit of slump in form and Steve Smith is no exception, feels David Warner, who can relate to his former skipper’s woes against India having endured a similarly wretched run during the 2019 Ashes.
Smith has been in horrible form in the ongoing series with R Ashwin removing him twice and Jasprit Bumrah once. But Warner believes that it’s more about India bowling well then anything lacking in Smith’s approach as he has left no stone unturned in terms of preparation.
“Steve Smith has been recently knocked off by Kane Williamson as best batter in the world (ICC ranking) but if you look at his numbers, he still averages over 60. Everyone is allowed to have a bit of lack of form and I saw that myself when I was in England (Ashes 2019),” Warner said in a virtual news conference on Saturday.
He believes that if faced with a good ball, any batsman can get out.
“On a day, if you have your name on that delivery, it is what it is and you can’t do anything about it.”
“As you can see that it’s not due to lack of preparation as the guy (Smith) doesn’t get out of nets. He works off his backside all the time.”
For Warner, the 84 Test experience that he possesses has taught him one thing — the intent and aggression should always be pre-meditated if one wants to unsettle the opposition.
“My 84 Test matches have always been about pre-meditated attacks and it doesn’t change for me but it’s about how the team looks at it. When I talk about intent, I mean by putting pressure back on the bowlers not just by swinging the bat.
“There are other ways of showing intent which could lead them into bowling those odd full-pitched balls and short of length balls which you can pull or cut. That’s what I talk about when I talk about putting pressure on bowlers.
“It’s about going out there and playing your shots,” said the man, who has 7244 runs and 24 hundreds in 84 games.
What Warner has observed is that both Indian and Australian batsmen, for the better part, have allowed rival bowlers to gain the upper-hand,” he said.
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