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Clarke: Don't change Davey

Sportal December 13, 2012, 5:32 pm
David Warner

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David Warner's shot selection in Perth may have drawn criticism of the cavalier batsman's technique and approach but Australian captain Michael Clarke doesn't want the left-handed opener to change a thing ahead of the Test series against Sri Lanka.

Warner was out for 13 in the first innings at the WACA playing poorly executed cover drive and critics have suggested that an opening batsman should have done better with Australia teetering at 2 for 34.

But while Clarke admits Warner's execution was lacking in that instance, he does not want the 26-year-old to change his approach to his task of dealing with the new ball.

"I think the one thing we have to understand with Davey is the same ball he got out on in Perth, we were all standing and clapping at Adelaide, when it went over cover of slips for four. That's the way he plays," Clarke said.

"The only thing I continue to say to Davey is to make sure you've got that good intent. By good intent I mean more in his mind than the actual shot. Because when Davey's intent is right, his defence is better and his attacking shots are better."

Clarke said Warner's record of averaging 42 after 12 Tests spoke for itself and the fact that he brought raw aggression to the top of the order was a real bonus.

"He plays his best when he is looking to score runs, there's no doubt about it. Yes we all have to work on shot selection at certain times in your innings but I think with three Test hundreds, he is doing pretty well," Clarke said.

"We would all love to be more consistent and score runs every time we walk out to bat, but I think there's got to be a bit of give and take with Davey as well because we know how he plays."

"Sometimes it's not gonna look great when he gets out but the other side is that he has got that x-factor. He can take a Test match away from any team in the first session."

There has been much conjecture by what sort of pitch the Australians and Sri Lankans will be confronted with for the first Test in Hobart starting on Friday, but Clarke thinks Warner's debut Test century at the ground last year will stand him in good stead for the conditions he is set to confront.

"I think one of Davey's greatest innings was the 100 he scored here against New Zealand in really tough batting conditions. But he still had that great intent on a wicket that was doing a lot. He was still looking to score runs, play his shots. His shot selection was spot on in that innings.

"In a perfect world, you'd love to bottle that and say play like that every time you bat, but there needs to be give and take."

The cavalier approach of Warner is complimented by the fact that the Australia's new look top four of Warner, Ed Cowan, Phil Hughes and Shane Watson, have all opened in Test match cricket, the first time that has happened in recent memory.

Clarke said he felt that depth of new ball experience was a real strength heading into the first Test in the post Ricky Ponting era.

"Against the new ball, they will be very well suited," he said. "I believe if we lose early wickets we are very capable against the new ball which is a real positive."

Clarke, regarded as one of the best two batsmen in the world at the moment, admitted he had toyed with the idea of promoting himself up the order, but he has the faith in the players selected to do the job in their position.

"I certainly thought long and hard about it but at this stage, Mickey Arthur and myself feel that how the order is for this Test match is our best line-up to have success in," he said.

"As a young player I batted No.4 for New South Wales. I always, as a kid, wanted to bat No.4 for Australia. But the older you get and the wiser you get, you realise that the number is irrelevant."

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