I needed kick up the bum, says Warner

CONTROVERSIAL Australia batsman David Warner admits being banished to the A team’s tour was the “kick up the bum” he needed.

Warner has missed the first two Ashes Tests following his suspension by Cricket Australia for punching rookie England batsman Joe Root in a bar following a Champions Trophy match in June.

It was Warner’s second major off-field offence of the summer, after he was fined £3,700 for a foul-mouthed Twitter exchange with two Australian journalists.

But with Australia staring down the barrel of an early Ashes defeat, Warner, who scored 193 against South Africa A on Wednesday, has made a timely return to form and the 26-year-old believes he has sufficiently regained his focus.

“Sitting on the sidelines and copping that punishment and not being selected was a thing that I needed,” he said.

“I definitely need a kick up the bum. It was my own fault the incident happened.”

Australia are set to begin a three-day match against Sussex today, as they step up preparations for next week’s third Test.

And, with places at the top of the order seemingly up for grabs at Old Trafford, wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade hopes to play his way into contention.

“The Ashes tour has not started like we wanted, but to get an opportunity to play, which I’ve not had for a couple of months, is great for me,” said the 25-year-old.

“I’m here as a back-up wicketkeeper but I want to get amongst the runs and push for a spot as a batsman.

“If I get a tap on the shoulder to play a game, especially an Ashes game, I’ll take it.”