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Australians hunt as a pack

Vice captain Warner reveals his team’s strength during UAE series

Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News
David Warner during the press confrece held at the Park Hyatt Dubai.
Gulf News

Dubai: Australia cricket team vice-captain David Warner says his team will hunt as a pack during their upcoming one-day matches in the UAE.

Answering to a query from Gulf News on what will be the main strength of his team in the matches against Afghanistan and Pakistan, Warner said: “Our unit as a whole is very good and close together. We hunt as a pack. Whenever we go out there to bat, we are always backing each other.

“If you see our training sessions you will realise that we are such a close and tight unit, always helping each other, always patting each other on the back. We have team unity and have got the hunger to win every time we go out to play for Australia. We want to win and so back each other 100 per cent.”

Warner revealed that his team has done their homework on their opposition before coming here and he is well aware that spin can play a vital role on the UAE wickets.

“We had a great camp in Darwin [in Australia]. Some wickets there were turning. In fact, on a few wickets the ball was turning square and going over the guys’ heads and doing all sorts of things,” said Warner, who is hailed as one of the finest hard-hitters in the game.

“Our boys adapted very well. I think the boys definitely challenged themselves in that area and they got through pretty well. We knew that in this series we are going to face a lot of spin bowling. We are looking forward to the challenge and now we see that as a bonus.”

Though opening batsman Warner hasn’t faced Pakistan’s impressive spinners Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi in turning conditions, he is hopeful he can get on top of them.

“I have faced both of them in a Twenty20 game in England where the ball wasn’t turning much. In fact, I faced Shahid (Afridi) in Australia as well, but not on turning conditions as yet,” he said.

“So I am really looking forward to it. The challenge for me is to try and keep rotating the strike, which is the part of my game that I have to keep working on and, if I can do that, I know it will be good for the team.”

Warner revealed that his team will also take their one-off match against Afghanistan in Sharjah on Saturday very seriously. “When we are playing for Australia we always take other teams seriously. Anytime we walk out there with the Australian cap on, it is a thrill,” he said.

“We have prepared a whole week in Darwin. We know what Afghanistan are capable of over here. Everyone says that some of us struggle against spin bowling and we know that they might have some good spin bowlers as well. We have practiced hard against spin bowling. We know that over here we have to be at our best and keep rotating the strike during the middle or tough periods.”

But he added: “We haven’t got to see much footage of their players. We are expecting a team that is jumping out of their skin to play against Australia. They are a type of team that can bring anything to the table and we are looking forward to that challenge.”

However, Warner appreciated the gesture of playing a growing cricketing nation like Afghanistan. “It gives them an opportunity to see where they are against the rest of the world. If they can knock us over then they can beat anyone in the world. So I can see their challenge and we are not going to take them lightly as we always play for a win.”