'A fair difference': Warner's plan to combat England

Veteran opener responds to critics and says T20 format offers him advantages as he prepares to face England for potentially the final time in international cricket

Warner plans to use England pace against them

David Warner plans to use the speed of his Ashes adversaries against them in a T20 World Cup showdown shaping as a must-win match for England.

Warner answered pre-tournament criticism, which he admitted he has found exasperating, as the veteran helped Australia shake off a rusty start against Oman's cagey attack to anchor a comfortable first-up win.

It now leaves England with their tournament potentially on the line when they meet the Aussies in Barbados on Saturday afternoon (Sunday 3am AEST).

The defending T20 champions had to be content with splitting the points in their first match against Scotland, who were in a strong position to pull off an upset before rain washed out England's run chase.

If Jos Buttler's men lose to Australia and the impressive Scots, who today completed a five-wicket win over Namibia, also beat Oman, England would likely need to rely on net run rate to qualify out of Group B.

"I know everyone talks about the rivalry of the Ashes but this is Twenty20 cricket," said Warner, who played in his final Ashes series last year and is likely featuring at a World Cup for the last time.

"They're the reigning champions, we have to respect that. We have to come out here and be on our game. It'll be great to get momentum and get one up on them because you just never know in these pool games.

"Someone can turn it on and you can lose one. Given (the Scotland game) was a washout as well for them, we've just got to stick to our basics."

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In 2019 and 2023 respectively, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood terrorised Australia during drawn Test series in the United Kingdom. Now united in England's T20 team, the pair pose a vastly different challenge to Oman's seamers whose top speeds are around 25kph slower.

But Warner stressed the extra velocity could work in his favour.

"You just use their pace," said the 37-year-old. "Test cricket, they set different fields, (bowl) different balls. In T20 cricket, you only have to get half an edge on it and it can go. There's a fair difference."

It appears unlikely the bouncer plan England targeted Travis Head with during last year's Ashes will be employed in the same way on a Kensington Oval surface that has been low and slow through the three completed Group B matches there so far.

Head was the only member of the XI that played in Australia's tournament opener to train at an optional session at the Three Ws Oval held only hours after their game against Oman finished in the early hours of Thursday morning.

He faced a handful of fast, short-pitched throw downs during a lengthy hit but the left-hander, caught at mid-off for 12 off Bilal Khan, spent more time completing a front-foot driving drill in an apparent bid to come to grips with the island's slow pitches.

The surfaces for the World Cup's Caribbean matches have not prompted as much alarm as the New York drop-in wickets labelled "dangerous" and even prompted the ICC to issue a statement admitting they have fallen short of expectations.

But Warner insisted the pitches they have seen in the Caribbean so far have been what he was expecting.

"I'm not shocked," he said. "I've played CPL here in 2018. I've played a lot of cricket over here. They're all the same.

"The variation in bounce is the one that surprises you because, when they pitch the ball on that eight-metre length, your natural instinct is to pull it. You have to go back to targeting straight, backing yourself and if it does bounce (unusually), so be it."

The likely return of Pat Cummins will add some firepower to Australia's own attack but selectors may be encouraged to retain Nathan Ellis given his skiddier trajectory, especially if Mitchell Starc remains sore after being forced from the field due to cramps against Oman.

Warner said the Bridgetown pitch did not take as much turn as anticipated, justifying the pick of Ellis over Ashton Agar, though the earlier start time for the England match (1.30pm local time compared to 8.30pm for the Oman clash) will be another variable to consider.

Cummins played a full IPL campaign as captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad and then endured a taxing journey to the Caribbean after a few days' rest in Australia.

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"Given the amount of cricket that he's played, they might have rested him, not sure," Warner said of the Test and ODI skipper. "I think they're looking after him.

"I think with him, his execution is always on point. I think the difference with Patty is he's got the height and he stands the ball up and on this surface it's going to be up and down."

Warner, meanwhile, underlined why the Aussies stuck with the 2021 World Cup player of the tournament despite a recent sub-par IPL campaign and his Delhi Capitals teammate Jake Fraser-McGurk making a compelling case for a wildcard inclusion.

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The 37-year-old read the situation perfectly against Oman after their opponents' tails were up when they reduced Australia to 3-50 amid their sluggish start. Warner fed the strike to power-hitter Marcus Stoinis in a smart complementary hand that helped them reach a strong total of 5-164.

Warner brushed off the conjecture over his spot.

"It doesn't fuel me. It's in one ear and out the other," he said. "I don't understand why it's always about myself, there's 11 players in the team, I don't understand it, I don't get it.

"I just go out there and do my job. My job is to go out there and score runs. People think they have to keep criticising the way that I play … honestly I have no answers as to why people are like that.

"I've had it my whole career, I don't look at it, I don't listen to it and when you're all the way around the world you don't need to see it. As long as I'm contributing to the team and I'm putting us in the best position possible, I'll just keep trying my best."

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