Dhoni’s absence gives Australia advantage: Warner

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Sydney, Jan 4 (IANS) The sudden retirement of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India’s most capped and most successful Test captain, gives Australia an early advantage in the build-up to the fourth and final Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) beginning Tuesday, opener David Warner said Sunday.

“MS (Dhoni) thinks a lot about the game, he’s very knowledgeable,” Warner was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

“He knows a lot about how to get each individual out, you can see the plans and it was always challenging when you’re out there (to see) what trick does he (Dhoni) have up his sleeve today?”

Dhoni’s unforeseen exit has put dashing batsman Virat Kohli, in the news both for letting his bat and mouth do the talking, in the hot seat.

Warner expressed his curiosity at the prospect of watching how Kohli goes about his business of leading his country.

“So (India not having) the experience that Dhoni brings gives us a bit of an edge. Kohli is a fiery character but he goes out there and plays with his heart on his sleeve.”

“I think he’s a fantastic cricketer, he’s got a long career ahead of him, I think he’ll do a fantastic job and I’d like to see if he comes out with the aggression he used in last Test (in Melbourne) if he does that as a captain,” the left-hander said.

But Warner’s belief of Australia having the upper hand in terms of team strength was seriously affected when his team’s pace spearhead, Mitchell Johnson, was ruled out of the Test Sunday with hamstring soreness.

Fellow quicks Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc are in the reckoning to replace Johnson.

“We’ve got Mitchell Starc who can bowl at 150 kph,” Warner said of Starc, who is believed to lead the race for the call-up.

“Mitch (Johnson) has that X-factor and I think the opposition sometimes get that fear that they’re going out to face him for three or five overs and they’ve got to get through that tough period.”

“But we’ve got great (bowling) stock behind us and they’ll be able to do that job.”

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