David Warner has reportedly told teammates he will go rightie in the Test – likely when coming up against India’s two left-arm orthodox spinners in Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel, according to Fox sports.
“David Warner is a left-hander. It’s worth mentioning, since he’s been spotted in the nets batting right-handed. He’s reportedly told teammates he will go rightie in the Test – likely when coming up against India’s two left-arm orthodox spinners in Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel,” Fox wrote.
Calling it a staggering ploy, Fox added that Warner “once batted a full season of junior cricket right-handed and played brilliantly.”
Warner’s biggest concern, as per Fox, might not be a left-armer though, with Ravichandwin Ashwin having claimed Warner’s wicket 10 times in just 15 Tests.
The Australian opener’s record in India, Fox said, is tough reading – “an average of 24.25 across 16 innings (eight Tests across the 2013 and 2017 series). He has three half-centuries with a top score of 71.”
Pitch patch pitter patter continues
Fox wrote earlier: “The pitch will play a significant factor in Australia’s selections as a 35-year first looms, while opener David Warner is mulling a shocking switch to potentially bat right-handed in response to the conditions.
Selectively watering parts of the pitch, deploying the roller only in specific areas: India’s methods of curating the Nagpur pitch have raised plenty of eyebrows in recent days. It appears to be a clear ploy to give bowlers an advantage against left-handed batters – with five of Australia’s top seven lefties, compared to just one Indian batter.”
While some labelled it “straight-up pitch doctoring”, India great Ravi Shastri hit out at claims his nation was ‘cheating’ by declaring “That’s bulls**t.
Australian cricket journalist Peter Lalor told SEN radio today: “Even in 2004, the wickets weren’t as extreme as they are these days.
“India seems more determined every tour to make wickets that are going to make the Aussies uncomfortable, or any visitor uncomfortable.
“I’ve got to say, I’ve never seen a pitch preparation like what they’ve done here in Nagpur.”
But Australia captain Pat Cummins has tried to downplay the drama, saying the team is ‘embracing the chaos.’
“That’s part of the challenge of playing away. Home teams want to win at home. In Australia, we’re lucky we’ve normally got pace and bounce. Home match advantage, I don’t think it’s a terrible thing. It’s another challenge and makes touring over here even harder when you know the conditions are custom-made for them.”
Victorian batter Peter Handscomb returned to the Test team after four years in exile, his right-handedness a major boost in his bid to unseat left-hander Matt Renshaw. Scott Boland replaced the injured Josh Hazlewood and Todd Murphy was handed a debut.