David Warner runs to the Hollies Stand at Edgbaston. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
David Warner runs to the Hollies Stand at Edgbaston. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Paine: Warner’s extraordinary Barmy Army request

There's no ground in the world like Lord's. There's a sense of history that nowhere else has. Walking through the members' pavilion is like walking through time with its antiques, paintings of past players and architecture.

Just sitting on the balcony during play is a thrill in itself.

It's a special place for cricket - and a special place for Steve Smith and me - because it was here that we were presented our baggy greens by Ricky Ponting before our debut Tests.

That would be a dream come true for anyone but for me to get it from my idol Ricky was incredibly special.

We never imagined we would go on and become Test captains No.45 and No.46. It's been a strange journey for both of us but we're both back here where it started and excited to play the second Test.

If I am asked where Lord's ranks among the grounds I've played, I would have to say it is the best cricket ground in the world. It's maintained its history and heritage. And it is in London and I think all Australian cricketers love London. It is one of the greatest cities in the world.

Before the first Test, I told the English media there were 15 more intimidating venues than Edgbaston. It was basically an attempt to deflect what was coming. We knew what was coming and we knew that ground was famous for it.

It certainly didn't disappoint. It was as loud a small crowd as I have ever played in front of. It was a great experience and I thought the way we handled it, sticking together as a group in testing times, was fantastic.

 

David Warner empties his pockets. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
David Warner empties his pockets. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

 

There were points where we were slipping behind in the game. And when you have the whole crowd coming at you - from the moment the bus arrives to the time it departs - it can be daunting but we stuck to what we had to do over the five days and delivered a famous victory.

It was genuinely confronting at times. It's part of cricket to be copping it and having the chants. It can actually add to the experience. The Barmy Army does a great job of creating atmosphere. Some of the stuff before and after play is a bit unnecessary but it made the victory all the more special. David Warner, Steve and Cameron Bancroft handled it superbly. They were the ones copping the brunt of it. I had the first two at first and second slip and they were taking it in good spirits the whole time.

 

 

At one point, Davey said to me "put me in front of them for an over and let's see how loud it gets". We wanted to take the whole place on, not just the England team but the famous atmosphere at the ground too, so he went out there near the fence and met it head on. Those three embraced the aggression and turned it into a positive thing for the whole side.

It's fantastic to have Steve and Dave in the slips. Steve was the captain, he has a brilliant cricket mind and he's smart. I use his advice more than anyone else on the field, primarily because he is the closest to me and because he is the most knowledgeable.

 

Tim Paine says Steve Smith’s knowledge is invaluable. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Tim Paine says Steve Smith’s knowledge is invaluable. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

 

We have a really good relationship and are both comfortable with working together. Steve is comfortable enough to come up and say what he thinks. We all want to win desperately and the more information and ideas you have, the better. Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle are also both helpful with their experience.

Steve was extraordinary in the Test. Australia has been blessed to have some special batsmen over the years, starting with Don Bradman and moving on through Greg Chappell, Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Ponting and Michael Clarke. Steve is another in that echelon of absolute greatness. He is threatening to be one of those players who could be talked about forever.

His ability to adapt to the conditions, to plan and to execute under pressure is as good as I have ever seen.

 

 

We are blessed to not only have him in the team winning games but to have him in the dressing room. He sets a great example for the young guys with how he goes about it and what he thinks when batting. He is passing on those learnings the same way a Ponting, Clarke, Waugh or Border did.

England has named Jofra Archer. We've studied him and seen him in white-ball cricket. We know he is an exceptional talent with good pace but he is yet to be tested over five days. Ask any of the quicks and they will tell you backing up to bowl long spells over that period is very different to bowling in shorter formats. So it is up to us to make sure that Archer bowls a lot of overs and put him under a lot of physical and mental pressure.

News Corp Australia


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