Australian vice-captain David Warner thinks beating England in the ICC Champions Trophy could give his side the advantage when the teams meet in Australia this winter for the Ashes.
Speaking to Adam Collins for All Out Cricket, the hard-hitting opener acknowledges that England are the favourites coming into the tournament, but thinks this could make an Australian victory when the teams meet on June 10 hurt all the more. “You look at their team and they bat down to 11, and they have got great bowling,” says Warner. “The psychological blow will be fantastic if we can get the upper hand on them because we definitely know they are a team to beat.”
Australia’s cabal of fast bowlers will play a key part in their Champions Trophy campaign, and Warner thinks they can be equally effective in England’s seaming conditions as on the bouncier tracks they are used to. “It’s phenomenal to have these four unbelievable quicks,” says Warner. “You look at their ages as well, and that they are all clever, thinking bowlers, swinging the ball. That is a massive asset in Australia and England.”
“They have all had ups and downs with injuries and come back bigger and stronger. They are so determined to get out there.”
Whether Australia’s batsmen can handle English conditions is another matter entirely, and Warner is aware it could be quite a challenge, and that he has a big part to play as an opener. “Obviously it is not going to be that easy in England, the ball could be moving around and it could be challenging conditions,” says Warner. “We don’t know what it is going to provide.
“I set the tone and do my job, and the rest follows with the way we play. I know my job at the top of the order is crucial for the follow-on effect.”
Warner has become an increasingly pivotal member of Australia’s ODI side over the last 12 months. In this period he has maintained an average of 68 and a strike-rate of 108, as well as scoring eight centuries, including three 150+ scores.
“We all mature as people; we evolve as cricketers,” he says.
You can read all about his transformation as a cricketer and a person – from taking on journos on Twitter and punching Joe Root, to being a happy-at-home father-of-two, a positivity advocate who’s been nicknamed ‘The Reverend’ – in Adam Collins’ profile of David Warner in our new issue.