Ed Cowan believes his partnership with swashbuckling left-hander David Warner at the top of the order is a work in progress which could turn out to be a long and fruitful one for Australia.
Cowan, who has opened in 11 Tests alongside Warner, said the duo were trying to get to understand each other's approach to the game better.
"We're learning to bat with each other and that's part of it," the left-hander told reporters on Sunday ahead of the second Test against Sri Lanka starting on Wednesday.
"And hopefully if we both keep improving the way we are, then it can be a long-term thing," the left-hander said ahead of the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka.
"Just understanding when he's going, not to rein it in on my behalf, but when to feed him strike or to try and keep him away from strike if he's getting a little too excited."
Warner has played 13 Tests for Australia and is known for his aggressive style of batting at the top of the order.
Cowan, who has scored a century and five half-centuries in Tests, said partnerships were key for openers and it was all about providing the team with solid starts.
"Cricket isn't about how many runs I get or how many runs he gets," he said. "I know if I don't get any runs, [the media] are going to fire a few bullets or, if he doesn't get runs, you're going to fire bullets.
"But it's about partnerships. If he's 60 and I'm five and we've had a 65-run partnership, we're doing a fantastic job."
Left-handers Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer forged a very successful opening partnership for Australia in Tests which helped the team dominate world cricket for over a decade.
The Warner-Cowan duo has also earned rich accolades in 2012 but Cowan, 30, thinks there was a lot of room for improvement.
"If you asked us what we thought, we'd probably say we're going OK," Cowan said. "It feels as though there is lots of upside there.
"And hopefully if we both keep improving the way we are, then it can be a long-term thing."
Cowan feels he was a different player from Warner, who has his own theory of batting.
"He's a feel player," Cowan said. "I'm a thinking player and he's a feel player.
"You just let him go and bat. He's analytical in his own way but one of his strengths is, when he's playing well, he's very clear in how he plays well."