David Warner: Sri Lanka's 'extreme pitches' in ODI series may backfire on them

David Warner

David Warner


  • Sri Lanka have won the ODI series with 5th game yet to be played
  • David Warner got out for 99 in the 4th ODI
  • Sri Lanka and Australia are scheduled to play 2 Tests in Galle

David Warner has said "extreme pitches" prepared by Sri Lanka in the ODI series may backfire on the hosts, suggesting they have given Australia ideal preparation for the upcoming two Tests.

Sri Lanka sealed the five-match ODI series by winning the fourth game by four runs and earned an unassailable lead of 3-1.

The hosts bowled six different spinners on the same R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo that had been used two days ago for the third ODI. Australia faced more than 40 overs of spin for just the fifth time in their 51-year ODI history, according to cricket.com.au.

"We're always expecting turning wickets and it's fantastic preparation for us; it's a 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 a 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," said Warner after Australia's four-run defeat.

Apart from Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head and Cameron Green are the batsmen who played in the fourth ODI and can expect to feature in the Test series, while Steve Smith had also featured earlier in the series before picking up an injury.

Warner along with the current Test squad members such as Smith and Usman Khawaja also played in their last Tests in Sri Lanka six years ago. The left-handed batter termed the wickets for that 2016 series as "diabolical". In that series, where Australia suffered a 3-0 whitewash, Sri Lankan veteran spinner Rangana Herath wreaked havoc as he picked up 28 wickets at 12.75.

The following year, Warner was Australia's leading batsman on their tour of Bangladesh. He scored centuries in each of the two Tests, including one in the series opener in Dhaka where conditions were again believed to be in the favour of slow bowlers.

In the subcontinent, one little mistake will cost you, says David Warner

"This is extreme spin, you don't usually see these types of wickets, you only see them here. India is completely different, they're actually good wickets and they turn day three and four. 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 for 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," added Warner in the same interview.

On Tuesday, Warner batted for nearly three hours in sweltering conditions. After the game, he admitted he was cramping in both calves when he was stumped for 99.

Warner, who was chasing to record his 19th ODI century, struck 12 boundaries. He then stressed the importance of maintaining an aggressive approach in the five-day format.

"In one-day cricket, you've got to try and go for it, so it actually helps you be positive. You can take that into the Test match series – use your feet, get deep in your crease, and come at them a little bit. We're seeing what they're going to deliver.

"These are things that we expect (and) that happened in 2016 – it's just there's no Rangana Herath (this time). They've obviously got other spinners who are in their Test team but it's nothing that's going to be unexpected for us," added Warner.

The dead rubber fifth ODI is scheduled to take place on Friday (June 24). After that, the focus will shift to Tests, with the opening game set to begin on June 29 at Galle International Stadium.

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