Former England spinner Graeme Swann has mocked David Warner’s claims he enjoys being sledged by opponents and says the Australian batsman will struggle to maintain his confrontational style when he has a dip in form.
Warner, who’s scored 1066 runs at 71.06 in his past eight Tests, starred with the bat in Australia’s outstanding 2-1 win in South Africa, scoring three centuries – including one in either innings of the deciding Test in Cape Town.
This run of form came on the back of a brilliant Ashes campaign where he clubbed 523 runs at an average of 58.11 and played a significant part in Swann’s shock retirement after the third Test in Perth.
The 27-year-old was in the thick of a dramatic final day against the Proteas where the on-field officials were forced to step in and calm tempers following a decision to dismiss Vernon Philander was overturned by the third umpire.
After his century on day four, Warner claimed he won’t change his approach because he loves it when opponents come at him.
However, Swann, who finished his career with 258 wickets from just 60 Tests at an average of 29.96 and played in three Ashes-winning series, believes Warner won’t be so vocal when the runs dry up.
“He doesn’t like being sledged. I know that because he said in the press conference, ‘I love it when people have a go at me’,” Swann told BBC radio.
“People who say that don’t really like it. It’s all part of the bravado.
“I remember Ian Bell saying something to him in Perth and his head nearly blew up.
“He’s an intimidating player and he is riding a crest of a wave and having purple patch.
“What will be interesting is when that patch finishes. Can he carry on with the same regard with his words and everything because I think that could make him fall harder than some other players.”
Warner riled England during the last Ashes series with his vitriolic send offs to departing batsman and comments made on and off the field about his opponents.
This came on the back of an incident involving Joe Root at a Birmingham pub where Warner punched the batsman ahead of the first Ashes series of 2013.
“He is a very good player and one of those guys who really winds you up and comes across as a very average individual because of the things he says,” Swann continued.
“He says that is the way he’s been brought up so good luck to him.
“He’s performing on the field but I would never pretend he is a bloke I want to have a beer with.”