'Manage David Warner's ego if it starts getting bigger than everyone else,' former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith advises Australia

"It's when he (Warner) starts to get bigger than everybody else then probably management needs to be ready for that. Guys like Langer and whoever is captaining the side going forward need to ensure they stay on top of that and manage that space and that ego well going forward," Smith said.

Agence France-Presse, Apr 10, 2019 09:57:50 IST

Former South African captain Graeme Smith has some advice for Australia coach Justin Langer — make sure David Warner's ego is managed if he starts to "get bigger than everybody else".

The polarising opener, on the comeback trail after a one-year ban for ball-tampering, has been in red-hot form in the Indian Premier League (IPL) ahead of his expected recall to the national side for the World Cup in England and Wales.

But some commentators believe Warner's return could be disruptive to the team, which is now resurgent after a run of poor results, and that he needs to manage carefully.

File image of David Warner. AP

File image of David Warner. AP

Smith, who skippered his country for more than a decade, said that while he admired Warner's batting, he had "pissed a lot of people off" throughout his career.

"I don't know," he told Fox Sports on Tuesday evening when asked if he would have any issue in welcoming Warner back to the Australian team.

"It's difficult to know what it's like behind the scenes, but he's always been an incredible cricketer," added Smith, who played 117 Tests before retiring in 2014.

"Especially when he bats, he bats with that driven nature, that intensity, ego to perform. And he's an excellent cricketer.

"I think where David has been throughout his career is that he's pissed a lot of people off. He's just that type of guy. I think at the moment he needs Australian cricket more than they need him."

Warner is suspected of instigating a plot to use sandpaper to alter the ball in the now infamous Cape Town Test last year. He has long been a divisive figure. And Smith believes his behaviour needs to be monitored closely.

"I think he's very driven, I think he wants to do well, he wants to prove his worth again. And I think David Warner in that position is probably a good guy to have in your environment," he said.

"It's when he starts to get bigger than everybody else then probably management needs to be ready for that.

"Guys like Langer and whoever is captaining the side going forward need to ensure they stay on top of that and manage that space and that ego well going forward."

The reintegration of Warner and co-conspirator Steve Smith has already begun with the pair meeting the one-day team after their bans expired late last month.

Australian cricket chief Kevin Roberts recently said teammates don't always need to be "best mates". "In any workplace, you don't need to be best mates with everyone, but there needs to be a foundation of respect and I think there is growing respect there," he said.

Updated Date: Apr 10, 2019 09:57:50 IST


IPL 2019 POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Chennai
11 8 3 0 16
2
Delhi
11 7 4 0 14
3
Mumbai
10 6 4 0 12
4
Hyderabad
10 5 5 0 10
5
Punjab
10 5 5 0 10
6
Kolkata
10 4 6 0 8
7
Rajasthan
10 3 7 0 6
8
Bangalore
10 3 7 0 6
See Full Table





Top Stories

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5007 116
2 New Zealand 3570 108
3 South Africa 4397 105
4 Australia 4566 104
5 England 5490 104
6 Sri Lanka 4737 93
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 7259 123
2 India 8508 120
3 New Zealand 6071 112
4 South Africa 6181 112
5 Australia 5701 108
6 Pakistan 5147 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 5280 135
2 India 5726 122
3 England 3036 121
4 Australia 3613 120
5 South Africa 3366 120
6 New Zealand 3367 116