Warner finds a way to exorcise spin demons


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 cricket.

“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 challenging.

“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.”