Chennai: Sachin Tendulkar may be approaching his 40th birthday, but Australian opener David Warner is aware of the threat the senior India batsman could pose in the upcoming Test series.
"I think a guy who has got 25,000 first class runs is a legend. At the end of the day he has got the stats behind him, the experience behind him. We are here playing in his own territory and we know what to expect from the great batsman," Warner said Tuesday. The Aussie said his team will have to be on their toes to avoid punishment from Tendulkar, who will be turning be 40 on April 24.
"He can come out and score a hundred in 100 balls or 100 off 200 balls. He was not himself in Australia. We sort of worked on him back home. In these conditions we got to adapt or he would get on top of us. We got to be disciplined and execute our skills or else we would be punished.
"He has scored a 100 in Irani Cup. He has the passion for the game. He was disappointed with the way the other batsmen got out and he shook his head. You don't get a batsman like him shaking his head. "It shows he still has the passion and he is going to come out and show what he is. He doesn't need to prove anyone.... He is going to make runs for India," he said.
Talking about Harbhajan Singh, who has troubled the Aussies in the past, Warner said, "I don't think there would be too much of chirping. We are good mates off the field. The IPL has brought in good balance between all players. "In the field off course we are competitive. But there is a line that no one ever crosses. But you are going to get some banter from some of the guys and learn to cop that. We dished out at home and will be prepared to take it. You know the culprits."
Asked if he had spoken to Sehwag, Warner said, "Yeah, I have spoken to him a couple of times. It comes back to the thing he says. We both play cricket. You got stumps that can be knocked over. You have fielder who can catch you out. Try to be relaxed. See the ball and hit the ball." Warner said he was confident of recovering from the thumb injury ahead of the first Test, starting here on Friday.
"I'm confident of playing the first Test. I have had four long days of training. I have been hitting for an hour in the nets to make sure I middle the ball and to see if there is any pain if I go on. I have iced it after every training. It's a little sour. But that's what happens after a break. "I caught about 50 per cent and there was a slight pain.
And I would be using a guard to protect my thumb in the Tests. So I am 100 per cent ready to go for the first Test. On using any protection for the injured thumb, the 26-year-old said, "I have got a rubber thing that. There is a guard that sits around my thump. So if I get hit I'm protected. I used in the practice and got hit by a spinner.
It's painful but I am alright. "I am under the process in order to get ready for the first Test. If I am not 100 per cent then I wont play. I have been batting in the nets and want to do the job for my team." He said the IPL helps him in getting the necessary batting parctice for important series in the Indian sub-continent. "I get practice when I come over to India for IPL in practice wickets. You don't need to practice for T20's.
Because it's all about backing your strengths. And that's what you do in Tests as well. I would back my instincts and if rest of the guys can also do that we are in for a good series." A lot has been written about the Australian's weakness against quality spinners on turning tracks, and Warner said, "It's important to come down the wicket and use the depth of crease. I would like to be on top of the bowlers and putting pressure. When you have close in fielder it's easier for me to hit sixes. But you have to respect the good ball."
Asked about Shane Watson's place in the team, Warner said, "We have been fantastic as a team in the past 12 months. We have played good cricket. I don't know why people are questioning some our spots in the team. "We won against India. We lost one day of 15 days of cricket against South Africa. We won against Sri Lanka. We are back here playing India and try to do the same what we did in Australia."
As far as opening the batting with Ed Cowan was concerned, Warner said they have developed a good understanding. "The last 12 months have been good for us. We have understood each other a lot. This summer we were little scratchy between wickets. When you call for singles we were ball watching, you should be trusting our instincts. That's important. We are complimenting each other.
"It's crucial to get runs of the new ball. We know that 100 for none is good enough than 100 for four like the other day. So we have set a goal to bat 30 overs among us top-order batsman - me, Cowan and Phil Hughes." And about the XI for the first Test, he said, "I'm glad that I'm not the captain. The selectors and the team management have a tough job on their hands. There has been a lot of speculation on what the team is going to be. "But at the end of the day it's going to be the captain, coach and selectors who will decide the eleven. We would know the team in a couple of days."