'Love playing here' - David Warner happy to strike form against India

Playing an ODI after nearly six months, David Warner smashed an unbeaten 128 to help Australia beat India by 10 wickets at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

The Australian opener David Warner, who has been a regular in the IPL, now knows the Indian conditions like the back of his palm.   -  AP

Not long ago, the overseas teams touring India found it difficult to get accustomed to the conditions. Tackling the Indian bowlers on spin-friendly wickets remained a challenge for most of the teams. But times have changed.

With more bilateral series happening in the recent years and the Indian Premier League (IPL) playing its bit, the overseas players are now more familiar to the Indian wickets.

David Warner is one such example.

The Australian opener, who has been a regular in the IPL, now knows the Indian conditions like the back of his palm.

And on Tuesday, it was his unbeaten knock of 128 which guided Australia to a convincing 10-wicket victory against India in the first ODI at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

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“(The IPL) allows us to go out and compete on Indian wickets and you’ve got a lot of net bowlers and resources to get better in these conditions. The wickets are always great,” Warner said.

Even though he hasn’t played too many ODIs in India, he enjoys playing in this part of the world. “I love coming here, I love playing cricket, I love the fans, I love what India brings. You always feel like you’re always welcomed here with open arms. We’ve got so many resources here. You’ve got great net bowling, great staff, the venue staff are absolutely fantastic and the facilities are second to none,” he said.

“It’s very rare you get to go out to the middle and practice. We’re ever so grateful for that. I think every single nation that comes here will say the same thing,” Warner said.

Playing an ODI after nearly six months, Warner was happy to strike form. “For us, it was about coming over here and trying to make our mark from where we left off in the World Cup…,” Warner said.

“It’s our first ODI this summer and it's away, but for us it's about trying to put clinical performances on each time we go out there. We have a great bunch of guys together. We feed off each other very well.”

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Chasing India’s total of 255  wasn’t going to be an easy task for Australia. With Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah in the ranks, Indian pacers were likely to throw up challenges. But Warner ensured that he backed his other opener, Aaron Finch, and help the team reach home.

“We complement each other on the field but we’re great mates off the field and I think we know each other’s games so well and personalities that now we can have honest conversations out there, if we’re playing shots that we wouldn’t. We reassure each other about that and it’s purely we complement each other. It’s just great to go out there and play the way that we do,” Warner said about his partnership with Finch.

“When he’s going, I know what my role is and when I’m going he knows what he’s role is and we communicate that straight away. I think that’s the best thing about our partnership, it works very well. It’s great and I absolutely love it and he loves it and hopefully we can keep looking forward to that next World Cup,” Warner said.

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Talking about Bumrah, the Aussie batting ace said: “It’s about being nice and still, I can’t imagine someone like Brett Lee running in from almost the boundary and just sort of staggering in there and all of a sudden 150km/hr, it takes a while to get used to it. That’s great skill from Bumrah, that’s how he’s always bowled as a kid growing up and you’ve just got to watch real hard, he’s got great change-ups as well.”

“If I’m to give any advice and I take this as well, you’ve got to be nice and still. His bouncers surprise you, his yorkers surprise you and then when he bowls the change-up it’s very, very difficult, it’s like when Lasith Malinga at his prime, he bowled 140km/h and swung them in but you knew you were going to get a yorker or a bouncer but it was how are you going to play that and that’s what’s so unique,” he said.