Australia coach Justin Langer believes opener David Warner will benefit from playing cricket away from Stuart Broad in the coming months after the England bowler got “into his head”.
Warner endured a miserable Ashes series despite Australia retaining the urn in a 2-2 draw, making double figures only twice across 10 innings.
He had three consecutive ducks at one stage and was dismissed by Broad seven times, making him the batsman dismissed most often (12 times) by the Nottinghamshire star in his Test career.
Langer still believes Warner is a “champion player”, though, and hopes he can now recover following the series, with the next Ashes not until 2021-22.
“I think, talking frankly, he let Stuart Broad get into his head and he thought way too much about it,” said Langer.
“I’ve seen it before, even with the great players, every now and then they have a series [like this] – and I’m talking about the all-time great players. I remember Gilly [Adam Gilchrist] with Andrew Flintoff.
“I remember seeing Steve Waugh sit on the team bus in South Africa and the guy had been a run machine for so long, he got out just before stumps and I, in a sick sort of way, thought it was the best thing I’d ever seen.
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“I didn’t think great players had lean runs. I used to have lean runs all the time but even great players have lean runs and David – we know he’s a very good player, there’s no question about that – had it tough, particularly against Stuart Broad.
“I used to have it against Murali [Muttiah Muralitharan] and I couldn’t solve the issue and it’s so hard when you try to problem solve and then you’re in the middle of a big series trying to solve the puzzle.
“In this instance, I don’t think David solved the puzzle, and he’ll be first to admit that.
“He’ll probably be very relieved he gets on the Qantas flight in a day’s time and doesn’t have to face Stuart Broad for a while, I reckon. But there’s plenty of upside still to his batting.
“I’ve learned over a long period you never write off champion players – it doesn’t matter what sport, you never write off champion players. They tend to come good, don’t they?
“So he’s had a tough series, no doubt about that, but he’s also a champion player, so usually with champion players, they get a bit more time to come good.”