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Sri Lankan 'dustbowls' great practice for Tests, says David Warner

Australia's David Warner says they were helped by the spin the pitches offered. Photo: Rahat Dar/EPA

Australia's David Warner says they were helped by the spin the pitches offered. Photo: Rahat Dar/EPA

Published Jun 22, 2022

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Colombo - Australia opener David Warner said pitches offering "extreme" spin in Sri Lanka's ODI series victory have helped the tourists prepare for the upcoming Tests.

The hosts took an unbeatable 3-1 lead with a narrow win in the fourth one-day international on Tuesday as Warner's 99 went in vain at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

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"We're always expecting turning wickets and it's fantastic preparation for us... It's great practice leading into the Test series," Warner said after his team's four-run loss.

"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 two teams play the fifth ODI on Friday in Colombo before they head to Galle for the two Tests starting next week.

Needing 259 for victory on Tuesday, the usually attacking Warner attempted to anchor the chase in his 110-ball stay as the left-hander bravely handled the spinners.

He finally fell stumped off leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga but Australia fought till the last ball with Pat Cummins hitting 35 and Matthew Kuhnemann nearly pulling off a heist in the final over.

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"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, come at them a little bit," said Warner.

"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."

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Australia suffered a 3-0 Test whitewash in 2016 when veteran Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath claimed 28 wickets to flatten the opposition batting on viciously turning tracks.

Warner said the visitors are equipped to handle the spin and heat of the sub-continent in the five-day matches.

"This is extreme spin, you don't usually see these types of wickets, you only see them here," he said. "India is completely different, they're actually good wickets and they turn day three and four.

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"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."

AFP

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