Australia opening batsman David Warner says he’s looking to tone down his on-field attacking persona, and wants to be seen in a more mature, serious light, rather than the leader of the sledging brigade.
Warner was known in his earlier years in the side as a rabble rouser, the brash and outspoken one who took it to opponents, but now that he has a baby and a wife, he has been reevaluating his attitude ahead of the Ashes.
Warner told Cricinfo: “My approach the last couple of weeks, I sat down and had a think about what lies ahead for me and how much cricket there is coming up over the next 18 to 24 months.
“For me it’s about conserving my energy. In the everyday world, everyone knows that sitting down and having a conversation with someone can be draining and energy-zapping.
“So when you’re in big groups and around each other all the time at training, you want to give 100% at training and you’re committed in the nets and try to help out as much as you can, but you’ve got to try to conserve as much energy as you can.
“I’ve quietened down a little bit around the guys, and it’s more about myself for the longevity of my career and giving your all when you’re actually out there for Australia.”
The batsman says his image is of his own making, with on-field verbals combined with punching Joe Root in a bar and unwise media comments haunting him, but he’s calmed down significantly, and wants to be out of the spotlight for the most part.
He continued: “There’s times when you need to try and keep quiet, but what people perceive me on the field as … the ways I’ve approached the game on the field the last couple of years, I created that myself.
“I’m always in the heat of the battle. I’m always the one who’s going at the batters, not saying I’m not going to do that, but every opportunity there is out there it always seems to be cameras on me.
“So I’ve got to be smarter, on my game, and make sure I don’t get too carried away with being in that moment. Now at 28, almost 29, I’ve got a daughter I love dearly. Settling down and maturing can happen on the field as well.
“My goal for … hopefully I play longer than five years … is to be the person who gets that respect from people.”
He added of his team-mates’ reaction to his new attitude: “It’s up to me to deal with that. In the past I’ve been someone who’s been told to go out there and do this and do that, but at the end of the day I’ve got to look after myself, and that’s what everyone does.
“There are people who do talk and don’t talk on the field. If I don’t want to be that instigator, I don’t have to be that instigator. So time will tell. I’ve learned a lot over the last five years.”
IMAGE: David Warner of Australia bats during day three of the Second Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Sabina Park on June 13, 2015 in Kingston, Jamaica. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)