‘The rivalry has gone up a level’
Whether I’m opening the bowling or not has never been a big deal for me, but if I thought it was for the best of the team, of course I’d put my hand up to take the new ball.
As a bowler, your preference is always to have the hard ball when it is swinging and seaming, but Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood have done a great job as openers for a long time and I’ve always been very comfortable slotting in behind them.
I was happy to get my hands on a new ball in both Brisbane and Adelaide, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the job of opening gets shared around even more during this series against New Zealand.
We’ll be going off Tim Paine’s gut feel and depending on which bowler matches up well with certain batters or conditions, we’ll chop and change things as we go.
Our bowling attack is really well balanced at the moment, so we can be flexible in how we play. We’re good mates and we know how to get the most out of each other.
It’s going to be a really hot week for us in Perth, with a heatwave going on over here. But at least with it being a day-night Test we can trust that it will get cooler.
We might not get the Fremantle doctor – the afternoon sea breeze – blowing through the new Perth stadium this time, so we’ll just have to try and hydrate and have ice blocks and cold towels ready. There’s not much else we can do!
As Aussie cricketers, it’s nothing we haven’t faced before anyway.
Chatting leadership with Steve Waugh
After an interrupted start to my career due to injury, I’ve found consistency as a cricketer in the last couple of years. I have 27 Test matches under my belt and feel better with each game I play.
I’ve been vice-captain for around 12 months now and I love working under Tim Paine, and with Travis Head. But to be honest, being a VC doesn’t change what we’re trying to do out there.
We all want to promote a great team environment, challenge each other to be better, and help out Painey if he needs.
It was great to speak with Steve Waugh about the subject of leadership in England during the Ashes.
“Out in the field you bowlers like to set your own fields and be in control of what you’re doing”, he said. “Well my role as captain was to do the same thing.”
It’s not a big ambition of mine but if the job did come up one day down the track, it would be a tough one to say no to. But for now, my only goals in cricket are to play for as long as I can and do the best job I can for my country.
Warner is hungry for runs
David Warner had a bit of a tough run heading into this summer. First there was his suspension, which was followed by a difficult Ashes series. People were coming out and saying that his best years were past him.
Then he went out and scored 335 not out against Pakistan in Adelaide and reminded everyone why he’s been one of the best batters in the world for a decade.
The most impressive thing about that innings was the way he applied himself.
He batted for a day and a half, and if you’d asked him to do that four or five years ago, I’m not sure he would have been able to last that long out in the middle. It just goes to show how hungry for runs he is at the moment.
At 33 years old he’s achieved just about everything you can in cricket, but he’s got a desire to keep improving and that’s great for the whole team.
Marnus Labuschagne was the other standout batter from our two Tests against Pakistan. He’s looking like a super veteran on the top of his game at the moment. In just 12 months he’s transformed into a top 10 batter in the world, which has been incredible to see. The fact he’s a genuine spin option is pretty handy as well.