South Africa bats­men eas­ily dis­tracted: Warner

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -


South Africa's bats­men were too eas­ily dis­tracted dur­ing the first Test and would do well to im­prove their con­cen­tra­tion if they wish to bat for longer pe­ri­ods in Ade­laide, ac­cord­ing to Aus­tralia's opener David Warner.

Sel­dom short of a word to his op­po­nents, Warner said Aus­tralia's play­ers were tired of the South Africans pulling away be­fore the ball was bowled in Bris­bane. It was a saga that reached an an­gry cli­max when James Pat­tin­son and Graeme Smith ex­changed words af­ter South Africa's cap­tain backed off - un­der­stand­ably - when a bird flew across his eye-line with the bowler about to de­liver. Warner thinks the is­sue of move­ment around the sight-screen had been over­played.

"I don't think you saw any of our play­ers stop once be­cause of guys walk­ing be­hind the sight screen," Warner said. "I don't know how you can be that dis­tracted or what they're look­ing at or what they're see­ing. They've got to try and take those lit­tle dis­trac­tions out of their mind be­cause that could be some­thing that's de­tract­ing from their game and pre­vent­ing them from stay­ing out there for longer pe­ri­ods.

"If the guy's in the fourth tier at the MCG and you see some­one move, you're look­ing way too much and you're too dis­tracted. The other day AB de Vil­liers played a ball when the sightscreen was still on the ad­ver­tis­ing board, so if he's just con­cen­trat­ing on the specifics of the bowler then that's fan­tas­tic. But some­one is mov­ing away be­cause a guy is peak­ing his head be­hind the sight screen - if you're pick­ing those lit­tle things up I think you're not watch­ing the bowler hard enough."

Warner him­self had rea­son to won­der about his pow­ers of fo­cus and con­cen­tra­tion af­ter his in­nings on a friendly Gabba wicket ended af­ter only 16 min­utes, 15 de­liv­er­ies and four runs. A cheap dis­missal, edg­ing Dale Steyn, seemed the log­i­cal con­clu­sion to a prepa­ra­tion that fea­tured plenty of time on the bench, with Delhi Dare­dev­ils in the Cham­pi­ons League, and only one first-class match since April. Warner ad­mit­ted he had sought the coun­sel of Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey about find­ing fo­cus and pur­pose as a crick­eter, when a re­lent­less sched­ule and his com­mit­ments as a T20 com­mod­ity de­tract from that end.

"[To play] three forms, as I've found out in the last 12-18 months, [has] been mad, it's been hec­tic. I've thor­oughly en­joyed it, but now I start re­spect­ing the guys who've played for the last 10 years," Warner said. "I talk to guys like Ricky and Michael and Huss about how they men­tally get through it all, and they say to us you've just got to try to find some time off some­where in the year to take your mind off cricket. Any week you get off you try to spend it at home or just do­ing the lit­tle things you can to help cricket in Aus­tralia."

Warner watched his open­ing part­ner Ed Cowan closely dur­ing the Bris­bane Test, ad­mir­ing his con­cen­tra­tion and bal­ance be­tween at­tack and de­fence. "Ed leaves a lot of balls that I'm prob­a­bly play­ing at and that's what I'm learn­ing up the other end. He prob­a­bly leaves a cou­ple of good length balls when I'm fend­ing at them and shouldn't have to," Warner said.

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