More mature Warner to add patience against Kiwis

Batsman David Warner looks on from the nets during the Australian team training session at the Gabba in Brisbane on Tuesday. Photo: AAP Image/Dave Hunt.
Batsman David Warner looks on from the nets during the Australian team training session at the Gabba in Brisbane on Tuesday. Photo: AAP Image/Dave Hunt.

Australian opener David Warner believes he now has the maturity to play a more controlled innings and not just be an aggressive batsman.

He might need that extra dimension for the three-Test series against New Zealand, starting at the Gabba tomorrow.

Black Caps quick Tim Southee is adept at swinging the ball and could have success on a seaming Gabba deck.

His opening-bowling partner, Trent Boult, was impressive on the team's tour of England in May, taking 13 wickets in the 1-all drawn series.

Warner - known for his aggression, with a 74.39 strike rate in Tests - believes he now has the all-round game to both attack and defend against such quality new-ball bowling.

He did that to an extent in Australia's 3-2 Ashes series defeat, scoring 418 runs, averaging 46.44 and coming in as the series' fourth-highest run scorer.

"I could play two different roles if you wanted me to," he said.

"I could play the normal one where you get yourself in, and in England we had to do that, and it's about grinding.

"It's something you might have to do out there if there's a good spell of bowling and you have to respect that."

Now 29, Warner's new-found maturity means he now respects good bowling.

It's a far cry from when he made headlines over two years ago for punching England batsman Joe Root in a Birmingham nightclub.

"We respect those two (Boult and Southee) bowlers and we know exactly what they're capable of," Warner said.

"But for us it's about seeing out those good spells and to keep bringing them back in this heat.

"The days you do get off to a flier are the ones where the bowlers are overpitching and bowling too short.

"You can't just say that every time you go out there - you've got to wait your time."

In-form Australian paceman Mitchell Starc might have taken a record 26 wickets for champion New South Wales in the recently completed Matador Cup one-day tournament.

But there are still question marks over his ability to perform with the red ball in the longer format of the game.

He was the second-leading wicket-taker in the Ashes with 18 scalps, but they came at an average of 30.50.

"That's the challenge for me, to take my white-ball form into this Test series and the next Test series (against the West Indies), and get that consistency I've been striving for," Starc said.

"It's improving, and playing a lot of cricket over the past 12 months has helped."

Topics:  australia david warner mitchell starc new zealand test cricket

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