Saving Warner from Himself

The second day of the 3rd Test had two very interesting DRS situations.  In both cases, the batsman in question had the captain at the non-strikers end.  In one instance, Clarke, even though he knew Warner was out, allowed him to review.  In the other, Cook, told his man to leave even though he didn’t hit the ball (but who knows if the decision would have been overturned).  Michael Clarke said he wanted to back his man but in doing so, was he really doing the best thing by him?

Let’s accept that Warner didn’t know that he had hit the ball because he hit is pad at the same time as the ball took a thick outside edge.  But Clarke must have been almost certain that Warner had hit the ball.  Was he really doing the best thing by the team and Warner in letting him review?

I’m sure that if Clarke had told Warner to leave without reviewing, that Warner would not have liked it.  But if he had been shown the door, hopefully, in the cool light of the dressing room, he would have looked at what happened and realised that his captain was right.  In fact, that his captain had protected him from looking like a prize goose.  And that his captain had looked after the greater interests of the team.  If a player can’t see that, then he needs to learn.  They will not learn from being given their own way all the time.

Leaders providing players with guidance and discipline is necessary on a day-to-day basis.  It is the little things that count.  Not ill conceived, theatrical demonstrations such as publicly punishing people for not doing their homework.  Leaders have to look after those they are leading.   The leader should be wiser and more experienced than those they are leading.  There is a time and place for allowing individuals latitude and freedom.  There is also a time and place for over ruling.  In fact, this is often what the person needs, even if they don’t know it at the time.  They need protection from themselves.

Clarke failed Warner and the team today by allowing Warner to review.  It was the time to stand up as a leader.  Australian cricket has put faith in Warner by recalling him to the team.  There was no need to “back” Warner when he was clearly wrong.  If he can’t take correction and respond appropriately when he his unhappy with the outcome, he needs to learn.  Do you think Bresnan was happy when Cook asked him not to review, even though Bresnan must have known he did not hit the ball?  Did Cook not show faith in Bresnan?  No.  He considered the bigger picture and the needs of the team and Bresnan acted as a team member should.

Warner will benefit from submitting to leadership and wise counsel.

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