Why ‘extreme’ ploy could backfire on Aussie rivals after ‘diabolical’ cricket test
Australia is licking its wounds from a shock ODI series defeat to Sri Lanka, but David Warner has warned his rivals of a silver lining that could see the tourists have the last laugh.
The nations will battle in the Test arena from next week after sharing the T20 and ODI series this month.
And Warner believes that despite losing three-consecutive ODIs in the latter, Sri Lanka may have unwittingly prepared Australia to peak for the two-Test series.
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Australia had been training on largely green nets, but the ODIs have served up spinning conditions — Sri Lanka bowled 43 overs of spin in the fourth match — that will hold the tourists in good stead moving forward.
Warner, who described the pitches as “extreme”, said: “We’re always expecting turning wickets and it’s fantastic preparation for us … it’s great practice leading into the Test series.
“We actually love that they’re playing on the wickets back-to-back — that’s what we want, we can’t get that practice in the nets – the nets are green.
“For us it’s great practice out in the middle with these dustbowls. It’s going to be exciting for the Test matches in Galle because we know what we’re going to get there.”
The fourth ODI featured four of Australia’s Test top-six; Warner, Marnus Labuschgne, Travis Head and Cameron Green.
Steve Smith did not play, but was present for the first two matches in which spin also played a big role.
On Australia’s last Test tour of Sri Lanka it was dismantled 3-0, with left-arm spinner Rangana Herath running riot with a whopping 28 wickets at 12.75.
Then coach Darren Lehmann then described the wickets as “diabolical”.
Spin is expected to yet again play a massive role during the Test series, but Warner believes the Australians are better prepared nearly six years on.
“This is extreme spin, you don’t usually see these types of wickets, you only see them here,” he said.
“It’s about being busy – I remember playing in Dhaka, that was one of the worst wickets I’ve ever played on, and I made a hundred.
“It’s about committing, it’s about concentration and it’s about batting long periods of time.
“In the subcontinent, one little mistake will cost you. You’ve got to be ‘on’ all the time.
“It’s going to be difficult, especially with the heat, but we’re looking forward to it.”
He added: “That happened in 2016 – it’s just there’s no Rangana Herath (anymore). They’ve obviously got other spinners who are in their Test team but it’s nothing that’s going to be unexpected for us.”