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Sydney: Feb 5, 2013
Australia opener David Warner believes India is no more unbeatable at home, keeping the England series in mind, where the hosts were defeated by the visitors 3-1.
“England played brilliant cricket right through the Test series. I must single out Alastair Cook for special praise. He has struggled against quality spin in the past but proved that with hard work and determination you can surely conquer the odds in India. He played the ball late and was the architect of England’s victory. We are looking to emulate what the English did and feel confident that India are no longer unbeatable at home. We have played very well on turners in Australia in recent times and it is time now to do the same on turners in India. I’m confident we have the skills to do so in this team,” Warner was quoted as saying Times of India.
When India toured Australia in 2011-12, the Australians had promised not to let master blaster Sachin Tendulkar scored his 100th 100. However, Warner said that the Australians have the greatest respect for the 39-year old.
“He is one of the greatest to have played the game and knows better than anyone else when to call it a day. Anyone cricketer will be proud to have half the career he has had. In fact, I’d say one will be thrilled to have a quarter of the success he has had over the last two decades. We know he’d be keen to do well against us and is capable of putting us under pressure. We have the greatest of respect for his ability and will do all we can to keep him in check.”
Warner is nursing a finger injury, however, he is confident that he will be ready to play the second warm-up match and Test series against India, starting in Chennai.
“I am already feeling much better and it is only a matter of time before I start playing again. I am reasonably certain I’ll be ready for the Chennai Test.”
The 26-year old feels a player has to be 100 per cent mentally fit to play in hot and humid Indian conditions.
” We [Australia] definitely have the skill but it is important to be switched on mentally right through the four Test matches when you are playing in India. Take Chennai, for example. The heat in the post-tea session, coupled with the humidity, makes it very difficult to remain focused. And when you have two world-class spinners in Ashwin and Ojha bowling in tandem in such weather it is a very difficult challenge for an overseas batsman. That’s what we are looking to do: conquer adverse conditions and win the series.”
Warner also feels with Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey having retired, each and every player have to play to their perfection and designated responsibility.
“I wouldn’t say so. Every player in the team has a designated responsibility and each of us will try and play our roles to perfection. When India toured Australia last year we were often two down in the first few overs with nothing on the board, and that put a lot of pressure on the middle order. It is on me, Ed and Watto to ensure we give the team a solid start and allow the middle order led by Pup to play freely. That’s the most important thing as far as I am concerned.”
Speaking about India preparing spinners and playing on turning pitches, Warner said, “Indeed they can. From my perspective I’ll look to attack the Indians in the first 20 or so overs of the innings. I will try and be positive and play my shots. Being positive, rather than trying to play out a particular bowler or try and defend against spinners, has always worked for me. If we can get off to a quick start it will automatically force the Indians on the backfoot. At Perth last year that’s what I did to Ishant, Umesh and the others. I’ll look to do the same in India.”
The southpaw said that playing in the Indian Premier League for Delhi Daredevils has helped him and other Australian players also.
“We are far more used to Indian conditions and each of us have a following in India. India is no longer alien to us and we know that the crowds in India love their cricket. Unlike Australian teams of the past, we have learnt to enjoy a tour of India immensely and that has made a real difference. I love playing in Delhi, for example, and am looking forward to doing so. I’m confident that if I play well I will be appreciated. It is a contest between two top Test match teams and the series can be a fantastic advert for Test cricket.”
When asked about how Glenn Maxwell was auctioned at a high value but not experienced players like Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting, he said, “It’s not about the money. It’s about the challenge to play the IPL, the excitement of doing well in front of packed crowds and about enjoying your time in India in the two months of the tournament.”
“If Clarke does well this year he will automatically fetch a far higher price in next year’s auction. The point is not that. The point is about doing well, standing up to the faith the franchise owners have reposed in you and entertaining the fans. Each of the world’s top players will try and do so to the best of their ability,” he concluded.
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