Warner hopes Karachi pitch will help bowlers

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By our correspondent

KARACHI: Terming the Pindi wicket as benign and straighter, Australia’s seasoned opener David Warner hopes that the track in Karachi will offer something to the bowlers and will help make the second Test competitive and entertaining for the crowd.

“That’s not what we want from a cricketing point of view. You want something to break up and there be something for the spinners. It was not turning as much and when Nathan Lyon was hitting that rough, it wasn’t doing anything and it was straight and slow off the wicket,” Warner said in a virtual news conference on Thursday.

“I don’t know what we are expecting here in Karachi until we have a look at the wicket but I just want a game where you can actually create 20 chances, something that’s going be exciting and entertaining for the crowd,” said Warner, who hit a solid fifty in the drawn first Test in Pindi.

“There can be variety of challenges. We did not have a warm-up game and practiced on wickets which were turning and obviously out in the middle it was quite flat and did not offer anything. To be honest if you look at first innings, there were only four dismissals,” Warner said.

Asked what he would like to say to the people around the world about prospects of touring Pakistan, Warner was full of praise for his host nation.

“Obviously, we went to Islamabad first and I got nothing but great weather to say about, the scenery, the mountains in the background from the hotel and the ground. You can say the people were absolutely amazing. Fans engaged not with the Pakistan team only but also backed us and were cheering for both teams. It was overall excited that cricket was back in Pakistan. Obviously, there are a lot of people to thank to get this tour, the Cricket Australia, the PCB, the military and the police. They make sure that we are safe and sound and we applaud them for that and we are grateful for this opportunity,” Warner said.

Asked how he would tackle spinners Nauman Ali and Sajid at Karachi as the wicket is expected to offer assistance to the spinners, Warner said they would be tackled as they did in the first Test.

“I think the way we addressed them in the first Test. There were a few dismissals which obviously were batsmen’s errors. From our point of view, we obviously will wait to see how the surface looks like, depending on, if it turns or assists from the rough. Everyone will have a game plan and everyone must stick to their game plan. As I said we have to wait and asses the Karachi wicket. It’s very difficult to say anything about. If you win the toss and bat first, you get a good wicket to bat on before it starts any turn, so its toss-dependent from a batting stance,” Warner elaborated.

He ruled out any possibility of his playing in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) any time soon in future.

“Unfortunately when PSL is on, we play international cricket, so it’s very difficult to come and play,” Warner said.

Warner has become very popular among Pakistan’s fans during the Pindi Test and he says that he always makes an effort to keep fans engaged.

“From my point of view we are entertainers as well. I think if we are not playing in the middle while batting or fielding, I like to get everyone involved and this is what I am trying to do to engage with the fans. These are the most important people in the game as they come and support us and we try to pull on entertainment which we can. Yes, I would love getting involved. This is the first time for me I am here after two decades and I think it’s important to engage with the fans not only from cricketing point of view. They follow us on Instagram, they come to the ground and support us and it’s important for us to give back,” Warner said.

Warner expects that the world’s greatest leg-spinner Shane Warne’s state memorial will be highly emotional for everyone, saying, he would be there on March 30.

 “It’s definitely going to be extremely emotional for everyone. There will be a big big, huge contingent of Victorians being hosted at the MCG. There will be lots of people to come out and pay their respects. You have seen all the flowers and even cigarettes and beers placed on the Warnie statue at the MCG. It just shows you how many people he has touched and how many people are feeling it right now around the world,” Warner said.

“We will be arriving home on March 27 or 28. I think it’s important as a player and past players to be there to recognise that. We have obviously got Rod Marsh’s funeral which will be taking place as well, prior before that. We won’t be home for that but I am sure we’ll be tuning in for that if we can,” Warner said.

Shane Warne was found dead at his villa in Thailand a few days ago, leaving the global cricket fraternity shell-shocked.