David Warner, AUS vs SL

He hasn’t been quite the same player since he suffered a groin injury during India’s tour of Australia last year. A hasty comeback, with the hosts under pressure, probably complicated matters. His runs dried up. His Sunrisers Hyderabad captaincy was taken away. In the cut-throat world of franchise cricket his contributions were quickly forgotten.

Thursday night was Warner’s moment to respond to his critics. The Australian opener, however, was restrained.

Fresh from a match-winning half-century against Sri Lanka, and looking jovial at the post-match press conference, the Australian opener was asked if he shut the critics down.

David Warner Australia’s David Warner celebrates his fifty runs with Steve Smith against Sri Lanka. (AP)

“Shutting the critics down? No, never. That’s the world of sport. When you ride the highs you’ve got to ride the lows; you’ve got to stay confident, keep a smile on your face and never let it get to you,” Warner replied.

Maybe, a game against Sri Lanka came at the right time for Warner, his happy hunting team. His scores in the last four T20Is against Sri Lanka before this T20 World Cup fixture had been 65, 57, 60 and 100. On Thursday, he scored a 42-ball 65. Any reason why he likes playing against Sri Lanka?

“Yeah, look, obviously I don’t look at the stats, but sometimes you match up well against different teams, and like tonight I obviously started fresh. Everyone was talking about my form, which I reiterated that’s not the thing I’m worried about; it’s about going out there and starting well,” Warner said.

Toss is playing a big role in the matches in Dubai. Evening dew is making things difficult for the teams bowling second. In the first half, tiered pitches, thanks to the IPL, have been playing slow and low.

Warner’s antidote is to run hard between the wickets, converting the ones into twos.

“I would say a hundred percent when you’re playing on one side of the ground. You saw today that’s a big, big boundary, so you’ll see a lot of teams, especially with guys that have very fast bowling, they’ll use that big boundary and try to defend the short boundary.”

He added: “As you get closer to the middle, that’s when you can back yourself a little bit and you can hit boundaries on both sides. But yeah, taking on that one is for the big boys.”

Good news for Australia is that fast bowler Mitchell Starc recovered well from a knock on the knee to claim two wickets against Sri Lanka.

By William Regal

Used to think I was a tad indecisive, but now I’m not quite sure.

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