Once troubled Test opener David Warner admits the little voice in his head hasn’t gone away.
But these days, the message is much more positive.
Warner’s well documented blooming romance with ironwoman Candice Falzon may have helped the big-hitting left-hander pull his head in since his infamous incident with English batsman Joe Root.
However, Warner credited Cricket Australia’s sports psychologist Michael Lloyd with ensuring he did not do his head in as he plotted a path out of the international wilderness.
And so confident is Warner of his progress, the NSW batsman has welcomed a fresh spray from notoriously unforgiving English support group the Barmy Army at the first Ashes Test.
Warmer took a big step towards redemption when he was reinstated as Australian Test opener for next week’s Ashes series opener in Brisbane on Tuesday.
However, Warner claimed to have already taken huge leaps with Lloyd after his career stalled over “that” punch thrown at Root in June.
Warner said Lloyd had helped him address the “little voice in my head” that tempted him to come out swinging when frustrated at the crease.
But it seems Lloyd has delved much deeper.
“I had to call him in … when I was going through the rough patch and couldn’t score a run,” Warner said.
“He’s been fantastic for me … about doubts in the mind and negative thoughts because you do take that out in the field.
“He has calmed me down the way I process things (and) not playing the game before I am out there.
“The last six or 12 months haven’t been ideal for myself. But now I am here ready to go.”
Warner claimed Lloyd’s work had curbed his natural aggression – not that you could tell.
He blasted four centuries in 24 days including 104 off 87 balls in last week’s Sheffield Shield clash with Victoria to force his way back into the Test side.
“It’s hard to be consistent when you play the way I do,” Warner said.
“But I can work it out now when I am out there, try to pick the right ball to hit and be patient.
“If I get two or three maidens bowled at me I can’t just swing at the next over.”
But Warner added with a grin: “If I am on a flyer, I am not going to stop, I will give you the tip.”
Warner could also afford to joke about the ribbing he expected from the Barmy Army, no doubt over the Root controversy.
“That’s probably 10 seconds of my life I would like to take back,” Warner said.
“But I have moved on.
“There’s definitely going to be some (Barmy Army) songs.
“When the crowd sings it does get in the back of your mind but you have to let it go – it’s a bit of fun.”
Warner then cheekily added: “But at the moment the dollar is too strong for them (English fans) to come out, I reckon.”