Sydney - Australian stand-in skipper David Warner found a
unique way of coming to grips with spin bowling on the sub-continent.
Ahead of the fourth ODI in Dambulla the left-hander ended
his pre-game net session by facing a battery of deliveries right-handed.
The opener was not having a lark at all but rather was
looking to improve his reverse sweep, in an effort to combat the spin demons
that had plagued him in Sri Lanka.
Warner told cricket.com.au: "That was myself trying to
battle my own demons, to see if I can still play the game of cricket.
"I’d lost the plot the last week and a half, it’s been
challenging trying to get the ball out of the middle of the bat.
"I’m trying to work on a lot of things which is hitting
through the ball and I just felt I needed to practice the reverse (sweep).
"And when I do practice the reverse sweep, I tend to
bat right handed just to get my head over my front leg and really extend out,
because when you reverse you need to do that."
The exercise didn't immediately bear fruit with Warner being
bowled for 19 by left-arm orthodox bowler Sachith Pathirana.
Fittingly though Warner came full circle at Pallekele where
Australia's spin troubles first reared their heads, with the opener scoring 106
from 126 balls.
In doing so the aggressive left-hander became the first
Australian to score an ODI century in Sri Lanka.
Warner believes the tour has taught him a lot about the game
and hopes to use it as a platform for growth both on and off the field.
Speaking of his time in Sri Lanka and taking on the
captaincy, Warner said: "I’ve learned a lot about myself more than
"I think it’s quite challenging when you’re used to
being in form across all three formats and then coming to the subcontinent and
not being able to put the runs on the board because the wickets are
"You have to think outside the box.
"That’s one thing I’ve really tried to learn on the way
(in Sri Lanka), and it’s been tough.
"I’ve learned about myself that you can’t go away from what
your plans are, and my plans are still trying to take it to the bowlers.
"But when I look back at the Test series there’s a
couple of things I could have done different.
"I can go back and work on that, pending selection,
going forward to India.
"There’s certain things that I might need to keep
backing, and that might be sweeping and reverse sweeping.
"We do it in the one-day format and the Twenty20
format, and that might be a way that I have to score in Test matches.
"At the end of the day, you have to keep backing
yourself and the way to keep scoring runs for me might have to be that instead
of defending all the time.
"Because I am a believer that if a bowler gets six
balls (in an over) at you, then one of them has got your name on it."