Cricket: Warner unfazed by lack of test runs

David Warner. Photo / NZPA
David Warner. Photo / NZPA

David Warner says he doesn't feel under any pressure at the pointy end of a struggling Australian top order, despite a series of lean scores since his stunning hundred against India in Perth last summer.

Since blazing a hundred in a session against the hapless Indians in January on his way to a brilliant 180 that swept Australia to a series victory, Warner has struggled for form in the three-test series against the West Indies and failed again with the bat in the first test against South Africa.

In Brisbane, Australia slumped to 40-3 as their top order again looked brittle before Ed Cowan and Michael Clarke righted the ship.

The exciting opening batsman's dismissal to Dale Steyn for just four added to his scores of eight, 28, 42, 22, 29, 17, 50 and 11 since that 180 as his test average slipped below 40.

The 26-year-old has averaged just 23 since that groundbreaking hundred at the WACA.

"I don't think so at all," Warner said when asked if he felt under pressure heading into the second test against South Africa next week.

"As long as we are winning games and we are on the way to becoming No1 ... as long as we are winning games, that's all that counts.

"I'm feeling good - I'm nice and refreshed. I'm ready to go again.

"I've been sitting in the change room for a long time watching the other guys score a lot of runs and I'm ready to get back out there myself."

Warner said he was looking forward to proving himself against South Africa's world-class pace attack of the No1-ranked test bowler in Steyn, No2 Vernon Philander and No9 Morne Morkel, and vowed to continue his aggressive approach.

"I'll be hitting a lot of balls this week and I will prepare as well as I can prepare," Warner said.

"Nothing changes for me - it's a simple game plan ... all guns blazing if I can."

Meanwhile, one of cricket's all-time fastest bowlers says he wouldn't have been able to play at top levels for 12 years under the modern workload.

Former West Indian speedster Michael Holding says too much cricket is taking its toll on fast bowlers and relatively young players such as Brett Lee shouldn't have to retire as early as they are doing.

"I know how difficult it was to maintain fitness and to bowl fast for an extended period of time," Holding said in Canberra.

"Although everyone is always talking about all the training that they are doing and they're monitored so closely, you will get injuries."

The answer to keeping fast bowlers on the field for longer, he believed, was simply less cricket.

"It's just about monitoring them, about making sure that the workload is managed and see how long they can actually last," he said.

Holding said it was telling that there were fewer super fast bowlers in the game in the modern era than 30 or 40 years ago, when every team had at least one outstanding quick.

"I'm not talking about somebody who just ran 30 metres and bowled a ball," he said. "I'm talking about somebody who bowled really fast."

He was concerned, as are others, that the lure of T20 would make test cricket irrelevant as the highest form of the game.

"You have a young man here ... Brett Lee - who I thought should have been playing for Australia for many more years than he actually did at the highest level - who withdrew from test cricket to continue playing T20," he said.

"I don't think that is good for Australian cricket or world cricket."

- AAP

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