Warner lauds 'Australian way', critical of pitches

Balls have been raising puffs of dust, edges have sometimes failed to carry to the keeper, and only once in eight innings has 250 been surpassed, but although these are alien conditions, Australia have clinched the ODI series the "Australian way", according to the acting captain David Warner.

The victory in the fourth ODI was the visitor's most comprehensive on tour, as they ran down Sri Lanka's 212 with six wickets in hand and 19 overs remaining. Aaron Finch had set the chase off apace with a 18-ball fifty, which featured three sixes and eight fours. His share of a 5.3 over opening stand which yielded 74 runs, was 55. Warner was 18 off 14 balls at the other end, eventually making 19 from 16.

"It's always awesome to have one of your players go off like that and for me it is more of a watching tour to be honest," Warner said. "I've been up the other end or in the dug out watching the guys go about it. But it's fantastic - I love that Finch comes out and plays his game. That's how we play. That's the Australian way. We have always played that way, and as I said to the guys today, you almost know what your role is. The first 10 overs was the new ball and we had to make the most of it.

"It's about getting a good start in these conditions and make use of that new ball when we're batting, because otherwise you see what happens when the ball gets old - it starts turning square."

George Bailey top-scored for Australia for the second match in a row, converting Finch's start into a win with a 85-ball 90 not out. He had again been impressive against Sri Lanka's spinners, using his feet often, and using the sweep and reverse-sweep better than any Australia batsman has done on the tour.

"We had to learn to adapt," Warner said. "Look at the way George Bailey came in and reversed and swept and backed his game plan. The way he has played in the subcontinent in the last couple of years, his form has been outstanding, and the way he finished it off today was superb."

It was Australia's attack that perhaps played the more definitive role in the match, however, dismissing Sri Lanka for a total captain Dinesh Chandimal suggested was at least 40 runs below par. John Hastings was the visitors' major weapon, taking a career-best 6 for 45 to follow his 2 for 41 on Sunday. Hastings was especially successful through the middle overs.

"He's been a very good bowler for a long time now and he's a very cagey one - you have to respect him," Warner said of Hastings. "I know when I've played against him in the past, he's just so hard to get away. In these conditions he is very challenging to go after, and it showed tonight. His skills were fantastic and there's probably a reason he got a personal best.

"The other string to his bow is that he can hit a long ball. We look around our team and our squad that we have had the last two years - we've got some very good allrounders in Australia. I think we're in a very good paddock and that's the fantastic thing about Australian cricket."

Although his team has won the series, Warner was critical of the surfaces that have been prepared this series. He said he would rather see pitches like the one at Trent Bridge, on which England made a record 444 on Tuesday. Sri Lanka's ODI venues have been consistently low-scoring over the past decade. A score of over 300 has never been successfully chased down on the island.

"It's hard to gain momentum when the wickets prepared are like this," Warner said. "I speak from an Australian cricketer's point of view - we're about growing the game. When it comes to one-day cricket and Twenty20 cricket you like to see more of a contest where you're scoring over 300 runs and you're chasing down totals. Sitting back last night and watching England score 400, then coming out here, busting our backsides for both teams scramble to 200 - it's probably not ideal for people coming out here to watch that kind of cricket.

"It's a little bit disappointing from our point of view because it's not the way we like to play. We like to play an aggressive brand of cricket. We like to entertain the crowd. So far, it's been very difficult to try and do that. From the Sri Lankan spectators' point of view - for them I'd like to see fours and sixes and big hits. At the moment it's probably not that way.

"When you see games like the England match last night - that's what I love about cricket. I love that kind of atmosphere, and that's why as a youngster I went to watch the game. But if you come here and you play five games like that, on wickets like they have here at the moment, it is going to be very, very tough to draw a big crowd all the time."