Sri Lanka vs Australia 2016: David Warner believes patience will be key to success in Sri Lanka
Australian opener David Warner is planning to curb his aggressive instincts and spend a long period of time at the crease during the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka as he believes patience will be the key to success in the island nation.
The 29-year-old said that playing in the IPL has given him the confidence to handle the slower bowlers much better than before in the subcontinent and revealed that he has fully recovered from the thumb injury he had picked up during the ODI tri-series in the West Indies.
"The challenge for us is about batting long periods of time," Warner said in Pallekele, where the Australian team are preparing for the first Test which begins on Tuesday. "We know that's what wins games in these conditions. You've got to be able to bat well into the next day and that's the focus for us.
“It's about adapting to these conditions, adapting to the things that are thrown at us and we have to take those challenges. It's not about challenging specific bowlers. There are times in games when you might need to apply some pressure.”
"You've got to be patient enough. You've got to rotate the strike. Your patience comes with hitting your four-balls, your boundary balls. They're the ones you've got to really wait on. That's what we're talking about with patience in this game, especially over here. You've got to bite the bullet.
"[Rotating the strike] is the key, especially with a right-hand, left-hand combination, to try to mix it up a bit with the bowlers. These days a lot of teams either have a left-arm orthodox [spinner] or a right-arm offie. You've always got to try to rotate the strike and that's the most important thing when it comes to playing spin or playing fast bowlers as well.
“Try to put the bowlers off a little bit," he added.
Talking about his IPL experience where he most recently led Sunrisers Hyderabad to their maiden success in India’s premier T20 competition, Warner said that it has allowed him to better his game play against the spinners.
"Times have changed. It's a bit different," Warner said of how his methods against spin had evolved. "That's the fortunate thing for us to go over and play IPL. I've been over for eight years, nine years in a row now. It's the experience you gain from training on the wickets there, you can actually use that to your advantage.
“Yes, it's a white ball, but still, the conditions and the surfaces, once they deteriorate, get quite challenging.
"In that form of the game, you have to try to score. So it gives you a bit of an advantage to actually one look to score but then improvise as well when you play Test cricket. The game's about moving forward and we try to get on with the game and try to score. It gives you the advantage to look for those scoring options rather than just trying to survive.
“But then again, it does suit you in certain areas to get back in your crease and use your feet to survive as well."
Speaking about his own expectations from the tour, Warner admitted that an overseas century is long overdue but said that scoring runs for the team is more important than any personal milestone.
"I always try my best," he said. "If I have to bat for a day or a day-and-a-half, I go out there and I try to do that. But the element of my game is to try to score runs. I try to apply pressure on the bowlers and that has always been my game plan.
“That's what I always set out to do and I probably won't change that. It has been a while since I've scored a hundred outside the country. We've got to start well, bat long periods of time."
When asked about the recovery from his most recent injury, the Australian vice-captain said that though he was feeling the pain at times, he is feeling well and ready to go for the Test series.
"It's going well at the moment, a couple of times when I've hit on the toe [of the bat] it's been a bit painful," Warner said. "I've experienced that before with the thumb but just with the game moving forward I'll do the same thing I did with the thumb, put a guard over the top that's underneath the glove and has a bit of silicon feel to it and stops a bit of vibration. But I should be ready to go."