Concrete evidence that Warner is ready to fire

Despite resorting to an unusual training method, David Warner says he finds suggestions he is out of form laughable

Reports of his bad form are greatly exaggerated, insists David Warner, though the opener did reveal he and other Australian batters have resorted to training on polished concrete during their T20 World Cup tilt in the Middle East.

At the suggestion of his batting mentor Trent Woodhill, Warner has been practicing on synthetic and concrete wickets in a bid to sharpen his footwork in readiness for Thursday’s clash with a Sri Lankan side boasting a pair of speedsters in Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera.

Sri Lanka may still be having nightmares about Warner’s most recent T20 Internationals against them, having failed to dismiss the opener in their three T20Is in Australia in 2019 when he blazed scores of 100no, 60no and 57no.

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The left-hander’s recent returns have been less impressive; he was dropped by his Indian Premier League side Sunrisers Hyderabad last month after innings of 0 and 2, added 0 and 1 in Australia’s two warm-up matches and then was out for 14 in their tournament-opening win over South Africa.

Yet Warner, who missed Australia’s winter T20 tours, is simply amused by suggestions he is struggling.

“From my perspective, I actually think people talking about my form is quite funny,” he told reporters from Dubai on his eve of Australia’s second group-stage match.

“I laugh at the matter because at the end of the day I've played hardly any cricket and then in the IPL I had two games and then they basically wanted to give all the other youngsters a crack.

“From my perspective, that's fine. And warm-up games are warm-up games for a reason. The other day (against South Africa) I got my benchmark back with where I should be with my feet and everything.

“I feel like I’m in a good space, I’m hitting the ball well in the nets, I couldn’t be any more ready to go.

“The other day (against South Africa) I felt like I was one boundary away from having a good innings.”

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Warner did note however the quality of turf practice wickets in the UAE have diminished given the three World Cup venues – Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai – are all fresh off hosting the second stage of the Indian Premier League.

That is in contrast to the pitches used for games in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which Warner suggested are playing truly.

Both he and opening partner Aaron Finch have batted against ‘wangers’ (a throwing tool used by coaches) on a polished concrete practice surface in Dubai which balls skid off from at great pace.

That will help simulate the extra pace of Chameera and Kumara; the former has been clocked above 150kph during this tournament while Kumara, who got into a fiery exchange in Sri Lanka’s win over Bangladesh earlier this week that saw him docked a quarter of his match fee by the ICC, bowls above 140kph.

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“My batting coach at home Trent Woodhill flicked me a text and just said to me to try and get back on the ‘syntho’ (synthetic pitches) again and get you your feet moving,” said Warner, who turned 35 today. “It's something I have done at home before.

“It's one of those things that you want to feel bat on ball … But it also makes you start moving your feet a little bit more because it's difficult to get in positions where we're so used to the ball coming onto the bat.

“If you don't get your feet in the right positions and your weight moving forward through the ball, and you're practicing bad habits at training because you're not able to get that volume in.”