WARNER’S WORTH­LESS WAR OF WORDS

Paul Nixon says bat­tle cries are of no ben­e­fit

The Cricket Paper - - FRONT PAGE - PAUL NIXON www.paulnixon­cricket.com

Eng­land fly to Aus­tralia to­mor­row and the War of the Words are cer­tainly in full flow in both camps. The likes of Michael Vaughan, Mitchell John­son and David Warner have all had their say. Though I haven’t seen Glenn McGrath make his pre­dic­tion yet!

McGrath often tips Aus­tralia to win 5-0, and though it’s been right twice in the last 12 years, these words can some­times psych the opposition up. But it’s also about say­ing what you need to hear some­times.

It’s dif­fer­ent for the ex-pros to be say­ing it. That’s just a bit of ban­ter, and it’s the sledg­ing just start­ing a few weeks early.

The peo­ple ac­tu­ally in­volved are all driven by dif­fer­ent things. Some guys need to get pumped up and oth­ers like to stay re­laxed. Warner made com­ments about the Ashes be­ing ‘war’ and ‘ha­tred’ and it’s ob­vi­ous that he en­joys the heat of bat­tle.

That’s a bit like Gra­ham Gooch or Robin Smith, who liked to get pumped up like that. Oth­ers like David Gower stayed very re­laxed, and some­one like Moeen Ali will stay very re­laxed and will just let his ac­tions on the pitch do the talk­ing.

Some guys do need to get pumped up to per­form, and while it may feel early, it’s about try­ing to get into the opposition’s head and get­ting un­der their skin. Some­times it is best to stay quiet and keep it to your­self be­cause you’re al­most giv­ing the other team their team talk.

It was never some­thing I re­ally lis­tened to.You know you’re go­ing to get a load of sledg­ing when you get onto the field, and the guys know it’s part of the gig.You need to say some­thing in these Press con­fer­ences, but it’s easy to for­get ev­ery­thing you say is be­ing recorded and ev­ery word will be picked up on.

The Ashes means a lot and if the se­ries can be hyped up and made into a head­line then it will be done. Team man­age­ment know who will get the best out of me­dia and that’s why you tend to see the same faces at Press con­fer­ences.

It’s just about be­ing care­ful. The Press are im­por­tant, and you want to be on the right side of them – es­pe­cially when you’ll spend the next three months away from home and sur­rounded by these

Warner was hop­ing to get into English heads. That no­body said any­thing sim­i­lar is a pos­i­tive for Eng­land

peo­ple.You just need to find that bal­ance be­cause you don’t want to get into any­thing that will harm you or your team.

Warner was hop­ing his com­ments would cause a stir and get into English heads. That no­body from the Three Lions re­ally came out and said any­thing sim­i­lar is ar­guably a pos­i­tive to Eng­land. Warner hasn’t got into their heads, but you can al­most guar­an­tee the first ball he faces in the se­ries will be a bouncer.

From an opposition point of view, you can use these com­ments as your ex­ter­nal force to mo­ti­vate you. It can be a cat­a­lyst for ev­ery­one’s fo­cus and a point of ref­er­ence when you’re up against it. Warner has said he’s up for bat­tle, so let’s bring them a bat­tle.

You have to keep a calm head, though. Just like a box­ing match where the buildup is so in­tense and can feel like it’s go­ing on for­ever, you just need to stay calm.

A lot more peo­ple will come out in the next few weeks and make pre­dic­tions but as a player, you need to stay in your own bub­ble.You can’t go wast­ing any en­ergy, men­tal or phys­i­cal, on worrying about what one pun­dit or opposition player thinks.

PIC­TURE: Getty Im­ages

Top tip­ster: Glenn McGrath cel­e­brates win­ning the Ashes in 2007

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