Ashes: David Warner surprised by England’s tactics as Australia dominate on day one in Adelaide

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Ashes: David Warner surprised by England’s tactics as Australia dominate on day one in Adelaide
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  • David Warner
    David Warner
    Australian cricketer

David Warner expressed bemusement at England’s short-ball tactics that he felt “worked into our plan a bit” on an opening day of the Second Ashes Test dominated by Australia.

Australia reached stumps on 209 for two, with England’s wicketkeeper Jos Buttler dropping a pair of simple catches off Marnus Labuschagne, who is second in the ICC’s batting rankings and finished the day unbeaten on 95. Warner had made 95 earlier in the day.

After a promising morning session in which they conceded just 45 runs, England’s tactics became a little bizarre, including sustained spells of short-pitched bowling from Ben Stokes, one of five right-arm medium-fast bowlers in a samey attack.

Warner said batting against England was easier than in the series between the side in 2019 (when he scored 95 runs in 10 innings) because “the length they bowled here isn’t hitting the stumps”.

"That’s a tactic they have obviously tried to put through to us,” said Warner of the short ball barrage. “I don’t know why they were doing that.

“But for us you have to play each ball on its merits. Obviously here it is short square, so you have to back yourself to have a game plan and stick to that. They mix up their fields as well with different field placements and then from your perspective it’s about how you’re going to adapt to that situation.

“You get into positions where you are almost in one-day mode as well, there are gaps in front of the wicket. A couple of flat-bat shots. Once you get one or two boundaries away and you start leaking, you have to change tactics. But they didn’t do that. It worked into our plan a bit, and the ball gets softer.”

Warner appeared unperturbed by the situation with Australia captain pat Cummins, who was ruled out on the morning this Test having been identified as a close contact of an individual who tested positive for Covid-19 in a restaurant on Thursday night.

“You can’t help what happened with Patty,” he said. “It’s inevitable in today’s society that people are going to get Covid or become close contacts and unfortunately he was in a spot where someone had tested positive that day.

“It probably won’t be the last, it will probably happen through the summer to someone. Maybe to all of us.”

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