Warner on Wood and Archer: ‘Just have to use their pace’

Australia
David Warner has predicted England’s last two Ashes destroyers loom as far different prospects on the slower T20 World Cup wickets of the Caribbean.

Australia will meet England for the first time in any format since last year’s tense Ashes series on Saturday [Sunday AEDT] in Barbados, in each side’s second game of the World Cup.

Mark Wood and Jofra Archer are expected to play for an England side desperately needing a win after a washout against Scotland.
Archer has not played Australia since the 2020 white-ball series in England, which took place during Covid, having made his mark against them in his debut Test series in 2019. Wood was also England’s most hostile bowler in the 2023 Ashes, coming in at Headingley and helping the hosts go from 2-0 down to a 2-2 draw.

Both are among the quickest in the world at their best, but the slow pitches of the Caribbean are far removed from their home conditions. Throw in the fact it is a T20 rather than a Test match, and Warner believes this is a very different scenario.

“You just have to use their pace,” Warner said. “Test cricket they set different fields, different balls. In Twenty20 cricket, you only have to get half an edge on it and it can go. So there’s a fair difference.”

Warner also does not expect consistently high bounce as seen elsewhere in the world.

“I’ve played a lot of cricket over here,” Warner said. “You are expecting it to be low rather than bounce, unless it is real short. The variation in bounce is what surprises you. Because when they pitch the ball that eight-metre [from the stumps] length, your natural instinct is to pull it. But you have to go back to targeting straight, backing yourself, and if it does bounce, so be it.”

Warner hit a steady 56 from 51 balls to guide Australia to a winnable score in their first match against Oman to begin his last international tournament. The runs came after a disappointing IPL, prompting questions from critics over whether he deserved a final hurrah ahead of rising star Jake Fraser-McGurk.

“It [the criticism] doesn’t fuel me. It’s in one ear, out the other,” Warner said. “I don’t understand why it’s all about myself. There are 11 players in the team. I don’t get it.

“People feel like they have to keep criticising the way I play. I don’t know what it is. I have no answer as to why people write that. I have had it my whole career. I don’t listen to it.”

Sunday’s Group B clash has gone from near irrelevant to crucial for England, after their shared points with Scotland. A loss to Australia would spell disaster for the defending champions, after Scotland beat Namibia on Friday. If England are beaten, it would leave open the prospect of a net run-rate shootout between them and Scotland to be the second team to advance from the group.

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