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In a good place

Home is where the heart is for Australia, and with Steve Smith and a maturing David Warner on board, England have their work cut out, reckons Jarrod Kimber

I f David Warner had thrown his ill-timed punch against Joe Root in Australia, instead of an Australia-themed bar, things could have been different. Because Australian cricketers don’t make many mistakes at home.

In 2013 Warner was this incredible force of nature. He was nicknamed the bull; you felt Australian cricket strapping itself in for a rodeo ride on his back. It was never going to be a smooth ride: Warner was feisty on the field, as well as off it. He was as loose in his behaviour as he was outside off stump. It almost seemed fitting that the franchise star caught got in a franchise bar. Here was the marquee player, the one that Cricket Australia had pushed the hardest, and was now missing Ashes Tests because of his behaviour. The more significant problem would turn out to be not the punch, but that, to use Australian misogynist sports vernacular, at home Warner played like Tarzan, on the road he played like Jane.

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About The Cricketer Magazine

England’s greatest batsmen – we asked 27 experts to name their top 5, and collated the results. There are some fascinating choices! The superb Simon Barnes, with the best turn of phrase in sports journalism, on England’s year so far. The feisty Jarrod Kimber on the state of play in Australian cricket. The elegant and massively under-rated David Townsend on Adelaide Oval. A lovely piece on the greatness of Dennis Lillee, by Simon Hughes. A forensic look at the problems at Sussex, by the man in the know, Bruce Talbot.