Langer addresses glaring weak link
Australian cricket coach Justin Langer says David Warner let England fast bowler Stuart Broad get inside his head after the opening batsman endured the worst series of his career.
Warner made double figures just twice in 10 innings and only scored 95 runs, finishing with an average of 9.5.
It’s the fewest amount of runs any opener in history has scored after batting at least 10 times in a series, while Warner also became the first ever opener to record eight single-digit scores in the one Test series.
Broad got Warner out seven times, regularly troubling him with his angle in from around the wicket and ability to seam the ball both ways to challenge both the inside and outside edges of Warner’s bat.
“He had an IPL where he was the leading run scorer, he had the World Cup where he was the leading run scorer but I think, talking frankly, he let Stuart Broad get into his head and he thought way too much about it,” Langer said of Warner’s woes.
“I’ve seen it before, even with the great players, every now and then they have a series — and I’m talking about the all-time great players — they have a series where (they fail).
“Even great players have lean runs and I’m sure David — we know he’s a very good player, there’s no question about that — but he had it tough, particularly against Stuart Broad.
“I used to have it against Murali (Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan) and I couldn’t solve the issue and it’s so hard when you’re trying to problem solve and then you’re in the middle of a big series trying to solve the puzzle. In this instance I don’t think David solved the puzzle, and he’ll be first to admit that.
“He’ll probably be very relieved when he gets on the Qantas flight in a day’s time and doesn’t have to face Stuart Broad for a while I reckon. But … there’s plenty of upside still to his batting.”
Broad pitched the ball on a fuller length more consistently than he ever has in his career, which gave Warner nightmares. Normally using his height to generate bounce from short-of-a-length, the veteran quick employed a different approach this time around and it paid dividends.
David Warner. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)Source:AFP
Stuart Broad. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)Source:AFP
He said earlier in the series he’s previously focused on angling the ball away from Warner and working towards an edge to the slips, but brought more modes of dismissal into play this series by going around the wicket with the new ball.
Broad stood up in the absence of regular partner-in-crime Jimmy Anderson — who injured himself after bowling just four overs in the first Test — and was England’s best bowler, finishing with 23 wickets for the series.
Although Langer conceded Warner had a shocker on this tour, he backed him to bounce back if selected for Australia’s next Test assignment against Pakistan at home.
Although his record has taken a beating in the Ashes, Warner still has 21 centuries and averages 45.47 from 79 Tests. At a time when uncertainty around Australia’s best batting line-up abounds, Warner’s credits in the bank may make it hard to shift him and Langer has learnt never to write off a champion.
“I’ve learned over a long period you never write off champion players, it doesn’t matter what sport, you never write off champion players,” Langer said.
“They tend to come good, don’t they? So he’s had a tough series, no doubt about that, but he’s also a champion player so usually with champion players they get a bit more time to come good.
“He had this series, it didn’t go to plan, but we’ve seen how successful he’s been and the impact he can have on Australian cricket teams winning so I’m confident he’ll come good. Actually, I’m hopeful he comes good.”