Warner will be ‘more aggressive’ says Cummins

BIRMINGHAM (Agencies): England will face a “more aggressive” David Warner in this summer’s Ashes compared to his difficult run in 2019, says Australia captain Pat Cummins.

The opener, 36, averaged 9.50 across 10 innings in the last Ashes series in England four years ago.

He was dismissed seven times by England bowler Stuart Broad and the pair will resume their battle on Friday in the first Test of the 2023 series. “Davey, I know, will have all his plans in place,” Cummins said.

“I’m sure he’s thought about it a lot over the last four years, hoping to get another another crack at it.”

England are bidding to win the Ashes for the first time since 2015 while Australia, who won 4-0 when the sides met 18 months ago, are trying to end a 22-year wait for an Ashes win away from home. Broad has been named in England’s XI for the series opener at Edgbaston with captain Ben Stokes saying he would be “lying” if he did not admit Broad’s hold over Warner was not a reason for the selection. “I don’t think he’s overly surprised,” Cummins said. “I’m sure you’ll see a bit more of an aggressive Davey than perhaps in 2019, and he’s itching to get out there and have another have another chance at it.”

In contrast to England who did so on Wednesday, Cummins opted not to name his side at Thursday’s pre-match news conference. He confirmed all of their squad, including bowler Josh Hazlewood who missed last week’s World Test Championship, are fit, leaving the only decision being which two of Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland join him in their pace attack.

The series is highly anticipated as it pits Test world champions Australia against a side who have undergone a stunning transformation under Stokes, winning 11 of 13 matches while playing in a new, attacking style. Cummins said Australia will not “lose sight” of their own method, typically a more traditional one, amid England’s ‘Bazball’ approach. “Both teams are very consistent in that you want to worry about your own game,” Cummins said. “Absolutely you have an eye to the opposition and how you structure up against them and some planning, but we’ve been amazing over the last 20 Test matches.

“I think you’ve seen a pretty similar style in the way we’ve played, so we don’t want to lose sight of that.

“Any of our decision making around match-ups, around field placements, is to maximise our own strengths as opposed to being too focused on the opposition.”

Stokes, who took over at the start of last summer, has previously said he has “no interest” in playing for draws but Cummins offered a more cautious tone.

“It’s obviously case by case so we’ll see, but I think we’ve always been a pretty positive team in the way we’ve gone about it in Australia and that doesn’t change,” the 30-year-old said.

Asked if he was interested in a draw, he said: “When the time is right.”