Australia's David Warner acknowledges the crowd after scoring a century during the fourth day of the first Test against Bangladesh.
Australia's David Warner acknowledges the crowd after scoring a century during the fourth day of the first Test against Bangladesh. A.M. Ahad

Warner reveals the hard work that led to his finest hour

DAVID Warner's career-best century might have been long overdue, but the sacrifices made to turn his fortunes around on spinning decks have provided a blueprint for a lost Australian team.

The normally bulletproof opener admits he doubted on last year's forgettable tour of Sri Lanka whether he could ever master the subcontinent, and he hopes Australia's Test rookies can learn a lot quicker than what he has, although he admits there's no magic fix to the current plight.

Warner has revealed the secret to an exceptional ton in Dhaka was to mentally and physically break himself, in a pre-season aimed at perfecting the fitness and mindset of a boxer.

Like a fighter must ensure his legs don't turn to jelly in the 12th round of a bout, Warner discovered from a failed tour of India that he needed energy in his legs to keep pushing forward in oppressive humidity and in the face of unyielding pressure from turning balls and close-in fielders.

Warner came home from the Champions Trophy in June and threw himself into daily sprint work and running hills.

He pushed through 5km-10km runs designed to train him mentally and offer him the power to keep thoughts clear even under peak duress.

On day four it crystallised in what Warner regards as his finest Test century, with the mental and physical torture he put himself through allowing him to pull off a bold game plan that meant he could return to his natural instincts of attack being his best form of defence.

Young batsmen could do worse than examine the dedication Australia's world-class leaders Steve Smith and Warner apply to their trade despite their rare natural talent, and then ask themselves if they could work harder on getting every ounce possible out of their careers.

Warner makes the stark admission that he can't unlock the riddle of Australia's batting woes on the subcontinent, but the tale of his Dhaka century brings its own lessons.

 

Australia's David Warner plays a shot against Bangladesh in Dhaka.
Australia's David Warner plays a shot against Bangladesh in Dhaka. A.M. Ahad

"What is the answer? I'm not sure. I can't think off the top of my head, but you have got to dig deep as much as you can in these conditions," he said.

"I've been there before, it's not a great place to tour if you are not doing well ... that (self-doubt) probably hit me in Sri Lanka, I just felt I was getting beaten all the time on the inside.

"It has taken probably longer than I expected ... but hopefully my time has come now.

"You find these challenges rewarding eventually when you get on top, but it is very, very hard work.

"It's taken me a long time to actually work out my game and hopefully a lot of other players do that faster than what I have done."

Warner has now joined Mark Taylor on 19 career hundreds, but given the work he had to put in to eradicating his struggles in the subcontinent - he regards his most recent ton as his finest.

"I just proved to myself that I'm capable of doing it on turning tracks with that positive mindset and energy in the legs," he said.

"I would have to say, yeah (it's my best). In a fourth innings in the subcontinent on a turning wicket, there are a lot of mental things that go through your head. You have got to overcome those.

"And with the conditions as well you have got to be fast on your feet and that's why I spoke about energy in my legs. That's the key to getting down the wicket, lunging forward, lurching back and not getting caught in between.

"For me it was about coming out and backing myself and my game plan. I probably tinkered with it a lot over the last couple of years in these conditions and probably just didn't nail the basics of what I do best - which is attacking and then defending. That's when I'm at my best.

"I always talk about my defence taking care of itself if I am having that attacking approach."

News Corp Australia

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