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'Quite nice not to be abused in England' - David Warner on playing behind closed doors
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'Quite nice not to be abused in England' - David Warner on playing behind closed doors

Australia opener David Warner conceded it felt "bizarre" to be playing in England without the presence of a lively atmosphere that often accompanies the high-voltage clashes between the traditional rivals.

Australia recently fought their first competitive game in almost six months in the absence of spectators at Southampton during the opening T20I of the three-match series.

All of England's blockbuster summer fixtures have been consigned to being played behind closed doors in accordance with the coronavirus protocols.

While the unusual circumstances created by no fans in the stadium left Warner feeling a bit peculiar, he remarked it was also the first instance a hostile English crowd was not there to greet him.

“It’s the first time I have been here and not been abused, which is quite nice,” he said in a virtual press conference.

Despite bossing majority of the proceedings, Australia crashed to an agonising two-run defeat after being stunned by a terrible middle-order collapse.

Nevertheless, Warner was at his belligerent best as he smacked four boundaries and actively ran between the wickets to accumulate a 47-ball 58.

The beefy left-handed batsman was subjected to repeated crowd jeering during Australia's World Cup campaign last year and the taunts later became more prominent when failed in the Ashes series.

Warner was tormented by veteran paceman Stuart Broad as he managed just 95 runs across 10 innings with fans constantly reminding him of his role in the notorious ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

“From a crowd perspective, no [did not feel like an Australia-England match],” Warner said.

“It was a bit bizarre [the lack of any spectators]. But we’re just grateful to be back and playing,” he added.

The 33-year-old and his skipper Aaron Finch had built a solid foundation for a successful chase but the rest of the side's batsmen were incapable of putting on a fight against a rampaging English bowling attack.

England's pacers, in particular, turned on the heat following Adil Rashid's double strike and consistently darted in fuller-length deliveries, which proved difficult for the Aussie batters to see off.

“Towards the end, they bowled exceptionally well, they knocked us over quite comprehensively,” Warner admitted.

His fine innings was curtailed by a superb yorker from World Cup-winner Jofra Archer, who bowled the decisive Super Over in the global event's final against New Zealand last year.

“I missed a yorker — a very good delivery. There are no excuses there. The guys were outplayed, to be honest,” Warner stated.