Infotainment Factory: Teammates' telling reaction to Warner-Smith

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Saturday, 16 March 2019

Teammates' telling reaction to Warner-Smith


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Steve Smith and David Warner have received a warm welcome back to the Australian cricket team, with both insisting they will play by the team's new values.

The champion batsmen are back with the national side after serving a one-year ban over the South African ball tampering scandal.

They were invited to join the Australian squad in the UAE ahead of a five-game one-day series against Pakistan. They are eligible to play the last two matches, but have not been selected.

Warner, named the mastermind of the South Africa scandal, told cricket.com.au that the players had offered a warm reception.

“It’s been awesome, it’s like we didn’t really leave. The boys were very accepting of us coming in; with open arms and a lot of big hugs and cuddles," he said.

"It’s been great. It’s great to see the spirit that they’re in after a great series win in India, and obviously looking forward to watching them play against Pakistan here. Hopefully they win the series there as well."

Smith and Warner were reportedly vocal in a series of team meetings. Warner, the former vice-captain who is now banned from leadership roles, said that he was intent on playing by a redrawn set of values in Australian cricket.

“Making sure that we’re in line with the team values moving forward," he said.

"Being out for 12 months, there’s obviously been a big change, which is great. It’s about accepting that and playing what our role should be in the team moving forward."

Smith concurred, telling cricket.com.au: “I guess it’s just going through the values that are instilled in the team at the moment and making sure we’re on the right path, looking forward to what’s coming up: a huge World Cup and an Ashes series in England.

“It’s been great to be back around the group, they’ve been really welcoming again and it’s almost like we never left. Everything’s on the right track."

Smith said that his elbow was recovering well, after surgery that prompted speculation he could miss the World Cup.

“The elbow’s tracking really well, I’ve been batting for the last two weeks and able to play all shots and got my power back," he said. "I’m tracking really well and I’m just excited to play again."

The Indian Premier League is Smith and Warner's next assignment. They will need to cram in as much batting as possible, given they will only have two ODI warm-up games (against England and Sri Lanka) before June 1's World Cup opener against Afghanistan in Bristol.

Despite having earned champion status over long careers, Smith and Warner will need to offer convincing cases to be guaranteed spots in the Australian batting line-up for the World Cup.

Usman Khawaja was man of the series in India, hitting two centuries and averaging 76, while Peter Handscomb also played well. Selectors will be loathe to drop struggling captain Aaron Finch, who will fill a top-order spot.

Australian coach Justin Langer told cricket.com.au that their return was a pleasant headache. He said that he was pleased to see Smith and Warner welcomed back after their suspensions.

“They’ve gone through a really tough time. Having a 12-month suspension, that’s unprecedented, really," he said.

"They’re excited and because they’re so excited, their hunger for playing well, to make a lot of runs, to help the Australian cricket team be successful … as a coach, when you’ve got two guys with as many runs and experience as they’ve got, coming back into a team which is playing well, that’s pretty exciting."

Usman-ton-web

Langer said that Smith and Warner visiting the team had been worthwhile, to get them up to speed with culture changes.

“We set some values probably nine or 10 months ago with the team, and we just had a look at how we’re going with those values; and how we can use our values and our behaviours to keep moving the team forward on and off the field," he said.

"We’ve talked about making Australians proud, we’ve talked about great cricketers and great people. It’s just a really good opportunity with this time between the Indian series and the Pakistan series just to reset where we’re at, reassess where we’re at. I think it’s been a really worthwhile exercise."

Steve Smith and David Warner have received a warm welcome back to the Australian cricket team, with both insisting they will play by the team's new values.

The champion batsmen are back with the national side after serving a one-year ban over the South African ball tampering scandal.

They were invited to join the Australian squad in the UAE ahead of a five-game one-day series against Pakistan. They are eligible to play the last two matches, but have not been selected.

Warner, named the mastermind of the South Africa scandal, told cricket.com.au that the players had offered a warm reception.

“It’s been awesome, it’s like we didn’t really leave. The boys were very accepting of us coming in; with open arms and a lot of big hugs and cuddles," he said.

"It’s been great. It’s great to see the spirit that they’re in after a great series win in India, and obviously looking forward to watching them play against Pakistan here. Hopefully they win the series there as well."

Smith and Warner were reportedly vocal in a series of team meetings. Warner, the former vice-captain who is now banned from leadership roles, said that he was intent on playing by a redrawn set of values in Australian cricket.

“Making sure that we’re in line with the team values moving forward," he said.

"Being out for 12 months, there’s obviously been a big change, which is great. It’s about accepting that and playing what our role should be in the team moving forward."

Smith concurred, telling cricket.com.au: “I guess it’s just going through the values that are instilled in the team at the moment and making sure we’re on the right path, looking forward to what’s coming up: a huge World Cup and an Ashes series in England.

“It’s been great to be back around the group, they’ve been really welcoming again and it’s almost like we never left. Everything’s on the right track."

Smith said that his elbow was recovering well, after surgery that prompted speculation he could miss the World Cup.

“The elbow’s tracking really well, I’ve been batting for the last two weeks and able to play all shots and got my power back," he said. "I’m tracking really well and I’m just excited to play again."

The Indian Premier League is Smith and Warner's next assignment. They will need to cram in as much batting as possible, given they will only have two ODI warm-up games (against England and Sri Lanka) before June 1's World Cup opener against Afghanistan in Bristol.

Despite having earned champion status over long careers, Smith and Warner will need to offer convincing cases to be guaranteed spots in the Australian batting line-up for the World Cup.

Usman Khawaja was man of the series in India, hitting two centuries and averaging 76, while Peter Handscomb also played well. Selectors will be loathe to drop struggling captain Aaron Finch, who will fill a top-order spot.

Australian coach Justin Langer told cricket.com.au that their return was a pleasant headache. He said that he was pleased to see Smith and Warner welcomed back after their suspensions.

“They’ve gone through a really tough time. Having a 12-month suspension, that’s unprecedented, really," he said.

"They’re excited and because they’re so excited, their hunger for playing well, to make a lot of runs, to help the Australian cricket team be successful … as a coach, when you’ve got two guys with as many runs and experience as they’ve got, coming back into a team which is playing well, that’s pretty exciting."

Usman-ton-web

Langer said that Smith and Warner visiting the team had been worthwhile, to get them up to speed with culture changes.

“We set some values probably nine or 10 months ago with the team, and we just had a look at how we’re going with those values; and how we can use our values and our behaviours to keep moving the team forward on and off the field," he said.

"We’ve talked about making Australians proud, we’ve talked about great cricketers and great people. It’s just a really good opportunity with this time between the Indian series and the Pakistan series just to reset where we’re at, reassess where we’re at. I think it’s been a really worthwhile exercise."

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