Warner’s X-factor makes up for ugly dismissals: Clarke | Pakistan Today

Warner’s X-factor makes up for ugly dismissals: Clarke

Opener David Warner is a rare talent and the X-factor he brings to the Australian team more than makes up for the odd ugly dismissal, captain Michael Clarke said on Thursday.
Warner’s last test innings ended with a wild slash at the ball in the defeat to South Africa in Perth which sent him back to the dressing room with 29 runs to his name and Australia another wicket down as they chased a huge victory target.
The 26-year-old, a brilliant limited overs player who graduated to the test team last year, will play his 13th test against Sri Lanka in Hobart this week.
“The one thing we have to understand about Davey, is that the same ball that got him out in Perth, we were all applauding in Adelaide when it went over slips for four,” said Clarke.
“That’s the way he plays.”
Warner had scored a superb 119 against South Africa in the second test in Adelaide, an echo of his magnificent 180 against India in Perth last year which he kicked off with a 69-ball century.
“The only thing I continue to say to Davey is to make sure his intent is there,” Clarke added.
“When the intent is there, his defence is better, his shot selection is better. He plays his best when he’s looking to score runs, there’s no doubt about that.
“Like all of us, we would like to be more consistent and score runs every time we walk out to bat.
“Sometimes it’s not going to look great when he gets out, but on the other hand he has the X-factor. He can take the game away from the opposition in the first session of a test match.
“There’s not many players in the world that have that talent. I’m really happy with the way he’s going.”
Warner scored his maiden test century (123) at the Bellerive Oval last year and although it was in a shock defeat to New Zealand, Clarke said it was a great illustration of his skill.
“I think one of Davey’s greatest innings was the hundred he scored here against New Zealand in really tough batting conditions,” said Clarke.
“He still had that intent, even though the wicket was doing a lot. His shot selection was perfect.
“In a perfect world, you’d love to bottle that, but you have to have a bit of give and take with Davey.”
Australia drop Johnson for Sri Lanka test
Australia have dropped Mitchell Johnson for the first test against Sri Lanka and selected just three seamers for the match on what is expected to be a lively wicket at the Bellerive Oval this week. Spinner Nathan Lyon was retained in the side announced by skipper Michael Clarke on Thursday, with Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc and Ben Hilfenhaus making up the pace bowling unit for the match. Left-armer Johnson, the 2009 ICC Cricketer of the Year, played his first test in a year in the 309-run defeat to South Africa in Perth last week but was named 12th man for the Hobart test, which begins on Friday. “Obviously a tough selection getting 12 down to 11, especially with the way that Mitchell bowled in Perth, but this is the team we’ve selected for this test match,” Clarke to a news conference. “At the end of the day you’ve got to do what’s best for the Australian team, you have to pick the best 11 players to help you win the test match. “It’s a nice problem to have when you’ve got 12 players that really want to play and have performed well, but unfortunately someone has to miss. “Mitchell will be fine, he’ll have to work hard and wait for another opportunity and try to grab it with both hands.” Tasmanian Hilfenhaus and Siddle were recalled after being rested for the third test against the Proteas, while Starc gets his reward for his performance in Perth, where he took 6-154. Clarke said the inclusion of 22-year-old Starc was based on the requirements of the Hobart test alone, not an attempt to give him a good run before back-to-back Ashes series against England next year. “For me, I’m not looking at the Ashes at all. The reason that Starc is there is because he’s been next in line in the queue for a while,” Clarke said. “He’s performed really well in the shorter form of the game for Australia. He got one test in Perth and got six-for and 70-odd with the bat so that’s not a bad start as well.” Clarke also confirmed that Australia had re-jigged their batting order after the retirement of Ricky Ponting following the Perth test against South Africa.
Sri Lanka make do without Malinga threat
Sri Lanka are resigned to life without paceman Lasith Malinga in test matches and do not expect him to make a dramatic return in the series against Australia, captain Mahela Jayawardene said on Thursday. Malinga, who retired from test cricket earlier this year, gave a reminder of what a devastating bowler he can be by taking six wickets for seven runs in Australia’s domestic Twenty20 tournament on Wednesday. Jayawardene on Thursday named a largely unheralded trio of seamers in his team for the first test and said it was unrealistic to ask the 29-year-old to return to the test arena. “I think Lasith has made up his mind,” he said. “With the injuries he has had over the last couple of years, I think it’s unfair to ask him to come and play test cricket. “He’s in our one-day team and Twenty20 team and he’s contributing a lot. Do we risk all that? Test cricket is about bowling 20-25 overs, (Australia’s) Peter Siddle the other day bowled 60. “Can Malinga do that? I don’t think so. I don’t think we can make that decision and risk his career.” In Malinga’s absence, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chanaka Welegedera and Shaminda Eranga were the trio named to try to make the most of what is expected to be a lively Hobart track. Jayawardene defended his bowlers against the charge that they were the worst pace attack ever to tour Australia.

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