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August 23, 2012
David Warner, the Australia opening batsman, is ready to adapt his normally explosive gameplan during the tour of UAE where they will play Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Warner's ODI strike-rate of 84.64 is perhaps not as high as many would expect from a player who made his name in Twenty20 and he wants to ensure he has more than one way to keep the scoreboard moving. On the recent tour of England he made a half-century at Lord's but also struggled against the moving ball. He expects this trip to be another test of his technique, but more from the spinners than the quicks.
With that in mind Justin Langer, the batting coach, insisted much of Australia's practice during their camp in Darwin was based around combating spin which will also be a key part of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
"Justin put forward to them that we needed wickets to be turning and challenging… balls were turning and going over guys' heads and doing all sorts of things and the boys adapted very well," Warner said. "The challenge for me personally is to keep rotating the strike - it's a part of my game I've got to keep working on."
One of Australia's major problems in England was batsmen making starts but not converting into substantial scores. There were times when scoring seized up, especially against Graeme Swann at The Oval, and Warner is training himself how to ensure that the pressure does not becoming overwhelming with a series of dot balls.
"I can't just go 'three dot balls and now I've got to hit a boundary' or 'four dots and then I get off strike' as that could be five balls I've wasted getting one run for the team," he said. "And if I do get bogged down and face three dot balls, I mustn't just try to hit one out of the park and get a soft dismissal; that could put us in a tough situation and it says I'm not playing for the team.
"In my mind, rotating the strike is what I want to get out of this tour and if I can rotate the strike as well as hitting my boundaries then that'll be good for the team."
Australia will begin the tour with their first one-day international against Afghanistan in Sharjah but they will not be easing into the trip, well aware that Afghanistan can approach the match with a nothing-lose-attitude that makes them dangerous.
"It gives them a chance to see where they are against the rest of the world," he said. "We've maybe slipped down the rankings and it gives them the perfect opportunity, if they can knock us over, to say 'we can beat anyone in the world' - that's their challenge. Our challenge is to try and beat another team and we always play to win. We're not going to take them lightly."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge