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Warne slams Khawaja & modern batting: ‘That’s the way I play? … That’s a cop out’

by Freddie Young 4 minute read

Shane Warne has hit back after Usman Khawaja slammed older generations for criticising new batting techniques and shot selection, arguing that modern day batsmen use the wrong shots at the wrong time.

Khawaja defended shots like the scoop or ramp, insisting they are like “cover drives” for modern cricketers. “You train for it, you play for it, you do it all the time,” said the Australia batsman. “I hear you guys talking a lot about the classic cricket shots. The game’s changed, we do play different shots now.”

In response, the spin legend said on Fox Cricket commentary duties: “I was listening the other night and he said sometimes us older players don’t understand about the modern day player and the innovation. I don’t think any of us from yesteryear watching the modern day player from any country mind innovation. I think it’s fantastic.”

Usman Khawaja walks off during day five of the first Test between Australia and Pakistan, October 11, 2018

“But I don’t want to see them use that as an excuse for when it doesn’t work and they’ve used it at the wrong time. What disappoints me is they say ‘that’s the way I play’. I reckon that’s a cop out. I reckon that’s an excuse.

“I’m all for innovation and trying things and putting the bowler off and all those things. But I think there’s a time and a place to use them. When your team’s under pressure and you’re trying to reverse lap and all these really difficult shots in a tough situation – I think you’ve got to go back to basics and build a partnership.

“If you do it no matter the situation, I think that’s reckless. I think it’s a cop out to say that’s the way I play.”

Warne hasn’t held back in his criticism of such matters. So far this season he has called for batting coach Graeme Hick to be relinquished of his duties, lambasted Glenn Maxwell for moving around in his crease, and criticised Ben McDermott for getting out whilst attempting a ramp shot.

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