Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 October 2020

David Warner doesn't want to 'poke the bear' by sledging Virat Kohli

Australia opener looking forward to India's tour later in the year

David Warner says sledging someone like Virat Kohli will only motivate the batsman. AFP
David Warner says sledging someone like Virat Kohli will only motivate the batsman. AFP

Australia opener David Warner has warned against sledging Virat Kohli when India tour Australia this year, saying "trying to poke the bear" will only make the batsman play better.

India are scheduled to tour Australia for four Test matches in December-January in what is set to be a highlight of the year.

Warner said he is looking forward to the clash but that he will steer clear of taunting India's captain.

"I thrive on the crowd, I thrive on people sort of going at me in the field. And getting into that battle," Warner told India Today television.

"I think Virat is quite similar. If you go a little bit at Virat he comes out harder with the bat and he plays amazing. We have seen that time and time again.

"There is no point in actually trying to poke the bear because, at the end of the day, if you do that it just fires up the person a bit more."

Last year, India claimed their first Test series win in Australia after 71 years.

Warner, who along with Steve Smith missed the series as they served a ball-tampering ban, said Australia are much better prepared this time.

"It's a much-anticipated return to Australia for India. I am excited to be selected and to be a part of that. Last time, we were not bad but were beaten by a good team and their bowling was relentless," said Warner.

"Now, India has got the best batting line-up and our bowlers will like to target them."

Warner said he is also keen to play the Indian Premier League if the International Cricket Council postpones the T20 World Cup, scheduled to start October 18 in Australia.

The fate of the T20 showpiece will be decided next month, and if the World Cup is sidelined, the delayed IPL could take its place. Cricket Australia has admitted the World Cup looks "unrealistic" this year as the pandemic lingers.

Warner, who is captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, said quarantine rules for foreigners entering Australia was one of many problems for the World Cup.

"The challenges around getting every single nation that participates in the World Cup into Australia, given the fact that we have the quarantine for 14 days... we have to abide by those rules and we await the decision from the ICC," Warner said.

He added: "I am definitely sure and positive that we [Australian players] will be able to come and play in the IPL if that replaces the World Cup schedule."


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