Australian head coach Justin Langer has backed opening batsman David Warner to improve on a poor performance in the Ashes series opener, come this week’s second Test at Lord’s in London.
Warner fell for just two and eight in last week’s fixture at Edgbaston in Birmingham, where Australia won to take an early series lead. That victory was built on the back of two centuries from middle-order batsman Steve Smith.
The Test was Warner and Smith’s first in a year, after the completion of Cricket Australia-imposed suspensions for ball-tampering during the 2018 tour of South Africa.
‘Steven slept the last few days, which was good. Dave didn’t have a big first Test but he had a huge World Cup and Indian Premier League, so he is getting his energy back as well. So, when those two are clear and have energy, it’s obviously a big advantage for us,’ said Langer.
“They’re still copping a bit. I thought it’s what we expected since we have been here. The boys are handling it well. Dave’s humour at Edgbaston was nice. He’s handling it as well as anyone.
‘Steve came in and showed with his batting how he’s handling it. I keep saying this – there’s nothing you can do about that, just keep smiling and keep concentrating on what you’ve got to concentrate on and it is what it is.’
Captain Tim Paine, meanwhile, has confirmed fast bowler James Pattinson will be rested for the second Test. Pattinson had not played Test cricket for three years prior to last week’s return.
‘It was one of the challenges for James actually – he set himself to play back in the Australian team, he set himself to play Ashes cricket. He’s ticked both of them off and now he’s going to have to reset his goals, and a lot of young people don’t do that well,’ concluded Langer.
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