David Warner has rubbished the opinion that a restriction on bat sizes will have an impact on his game and stated that he is comfortable with the new size. He has also come out in support of Steve Smith and brushed aside Rodney Hogg’s accusation that Smith prefers to “pick his mates” in the team.
According to the new rules, which will be implemented in international cricket from September 28, permissible bat dimensions have been reconfigured to an edge limit of 40mm and depth of 67mm (60mm for the depth plus an allowance of 7mm for a possible curve on the face of the bat). But, Warner's T20I bat reportedly exceeds the depth specification by 18mm, which gave rise to the opinion that the destructive opener’s prowess will dwindle in the coming days. However, the Australian opener revealed that he has already changed his bat size and is comfortable with it as well.
"Well, my bats have already been changed. I've been using them for the last couple of weeks. In Bangladesh, (I was) getting used to it. It is basically the same bat that I started my career with. So I just basically took it down to my bat maker and said, 'We just got to go back to what we started with'. It didn't really affect me then, so I don't think it'd affect me now," Warner told the media conference ahead of the Bengaluru ODI, as reported by PTI.
The ICC Cricket Committee decided to bring the new set of rules in order to maintain the balanced nature of the bat-v-ball contest. With 300 and even 350-plus totals becoming a regular occurrence, regulation of bat sizes was addressed in the ICC meeting earlier in June this year, when the reduced specifications were proposed as recommendations along with a host of other changes to the game. But, Warner believes that the idea that bigger bats aid in hitting sixes better was misleading.
"I think everyone's sort of been misled in a way where they think the big bats clear the fences easier than what the old bats used to. From where I stand on it, basically, we were hitting sixes with the bats five-six years ago and still hitting sixes today.
"At the end of the day, you obviously have to use what you're given and it's not going to make a difference at all."
After losing the first three of the five-match ODI series, Australia’s winless streak in ODIs stretched to eight games and the dream of winning an ODI series in India for the first time since 2009 had been nipped in the bud. The reasons for the dismal performances can be attributed to questionable team selections and batting order changes. Watching the national side losing games, former Australian pacer Rodney Hogg accused Steve Smith of nepotism in team selection and asked for a serious selection shake-up, starting with the captain’s role in picking sides.
Hogg had accused Smith of picking his friends in the national team while talking to SEN Radio in Australia.
“They are picking their mates. Smith shouldn’t be a selector. (Ashton) Agar’s been pushed through and (Hilton) Cartwright’s still there. We saw (Nic) Maddinson get selected (he’s) a mate, he’s one of Steve Smith’s mates. You can’t pick bloody mates,” Hogg said.
He further added, “We have got to get fair dinkum. We are really off the ball a bit here, I think the captain’s getting his own way.”
However, Warner rubbished Hogg’s comments. “Everyone is going to have their opinions and they are entitled to have their opinions. I don’t know from where all these theories crop up from. It is up to the selectors to pick the team and at the end of the day, if you are picked up, you go out there and give your best. That is how it always has been,” Warner said.