Australia's Cummins backs struggling Warner for second India Test

The left-handed Warner scored one and 10 at Nagpur last week and has struggled for form since scoring 200 in the Boxing Day Test against South Africa in Melbourne

By AFP

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Australian captain Pat Cummins (right) and teammate David Warner during a practice session at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday. — AFP
Australian captain Pat Cummins (right) and teammate David Warner during a practice session at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday. — AFP

Published: Thu 16 Feb 2023, 7:04 PM

Australia skipper Pat Cummins brushed off concerns Thursday over David Warner's batting form and said he was certain the opener would play in this week's second Test against India.

The left-handed Warner scored one and 10 at Nagpur last week and has struggled for form since scoring 200 in the Boxing Day Test against South Africa in Melbourne.

"I'm not a selector. I don't think they've had a meeting but I'm sure Davey will be there," Cummins said of Warner's inclusion in the New Delhi Test, which starts Friday.

"You saw this year at the Boxing Day Test when he puts pressure back on the opposition he's pretty hard to bowl to. You don't get as many good balls, so he knows that. I'm sure that'd be part of his plan," said Cummins.

"He has been batting really well here. Even in the lead-up I thought he was fantastic.

"I know there's a lot of talk about spin bowling through the middle, but with that new ball it's sometimes the hardest time to bat as well."

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Australia were bowled out for 91 in one session in the first Test of the four-match series in Nagpur to lose by an innings and 132 runs inside three days.

Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith showed some fight in an otherwise dismal batting display, but Cummins remained hopeful of a turnaround on another spin-friendly pitch.

"I think the planning has been really good and now it's about going out there and doing it and at times that might be being brave enough to take a calculated risk," Cummins said of his batsmen's plans.

"They've been really good, they're all really strong in their plans, trained really well, so we will see how we go."

Australia are expected to make changes from the Nagpur drubbing, with spinner Matthew Kuhnemann, returning fast bowler Mitchell Starc and all-rounder Cameron Green fighting for a place in the side.

"Having a right-hander helps and (Green) providing our fifth bowling option also helps, he's a big player," Cummins said.

"He's still coming back from that injury, he's only had a couple of sessions where he's catching with a hard ball. We will see how he pulls up."

Cummins called Starc the "world's premier" bowler in these conditions, but said all options were open going into the Test.

Spinner Todd Murphy had debut figures of 7-124 in Nagpur and Cummins again challenged his spinners to make best of the conditions.

"Even the last game we saw a lot of around-the-wicket bowling where in Australia it's mainly over the wicket bowling," said Cummins.

"It's a bit of an adjustment, but in some ways it doesn't get any better. You have a wicket there that's spinning, you can show how good you are."


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