David Warner won’t have any qualms about engaging with England players in the middle during the Ashes, believing his verbal sparring performed a key role in the 2013-14 whitewash.
No sooner had he returned from the limited-overs tour of India, Warner was thinking of the opening day at the Gabba as he talked of the need to find “hatred” of England in the heat of the Ashes tussle.
Warner, lauded in recent years for a more mature approach to his game, wasn’t afraid of having a few words four years ago which included saying England had “scared eyes” during the Brisbane Test as they were dismantled by Mitchell Johnson although later admitted he had gone “too far” when he labelled Jonathan Trott’s second-innings dismissal as “poor and weak.”
“As soon as you step on that line it’s war,” Warner said on ABC Grandstand. “You try and get into a battle as quick as you can. I try and look in the opposition’s eye and try and work out ‘how can I dislike this player, how can I get on top of him?’ You’ve really got to find that spark in yourself to really take it to the opposition.
“You have to delve and dig deep into yourself to actually get some hatred about them to actually get up when you’re out there. History is a big part in this and that is what carries us onto the ground.”
Warner added, however, that he would leave the talk until he gets onto the field in Brisbane even suggesting he will take a “subtle” approach in trying to get under England’s skin.
“Four years ago, during that first Test I made some statements in the media and at the time I thought it was a great thing to come out and speak what I said,” he said. “I have no regrets about that and I think that could have played a little bit of a role in the back of their minds.
“At the moment I’m not going to put any vibes out there or get into a verbal stoush … but come day one when we walk out there, there will definitely be some words exchanged. But I think the subtle approach these days is how it is and how it goes.”
Australia’s players have three rounds of Sheffield Shield matches to prepare for the first Test with the major question marks over their side revolving around who will bat at No. 6 and who will take the wicketkeeping gloves.
England, who are set to be without Ben Stokes, depart at the end of the month and have three warm-up matches before the first Test which starts on November 23.