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Warner ready for ‘exciting’ series

Cricket
Fri, 23 Feb 2018


SYDNEY: Australia batsman David Warner says he expects South Africa’s bowlers will be smarter against him than they have been in the past when his touring side play four Tests against the Proteas next month.

The 31-year-old opener was named man of the series when Australia last toured South Africa in 2014, having driven the visitors to a 2-1 victory with 543 runs at 90.50.

He aims to contribute with big scores again but warned it will not be a straightforward task against a world class Proteas bowling attack.

“I’ve really got to embrace it again and still stay hungry for those runs” Warner, who led Australia’s Twenty 20 outfit to a tri-series win on Wednesday, told reporters.

“It’s a couple of years on (from when South Africa toured Australia in 2016). They’re going to be smarter and work out where to bowl to me from the series that they did at home.

“They’re going to challenge me in areas where I’ve been getting out. I’m prepared for what they bring and I’ve just got to make sure I’m in the right mental state and I play each ball on its merit.”

Warner expects a stirring contest against South Africa’s fearsome pace bowlers Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel.

The trio tormented India’s batsmen on fast and bouncy pitches earlier this year to seal a 2-1 home Test series win, with Philander and Rabada claiming 15 wickets each, while Morkel chipped in with 13.

“They’ve got Vern (Philander) who hits the money every time and if the conditions are in his favour, he’s going to be tough work,” Warner said.

“You know Morne is going to come into your ribs. It’s exciting, just thinking about it now sends shivers down my spine. I just want to get over there and get into it.”

South Africa take on Australia at Kingsmead, Durban in first of four Test matches starting March 1.

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