Brisbane: David Warner, the Australian opener, has revealed that a candid conversation with India's Virender Sehwag inspired him to change his game.
Warner has been in irresistible form this year for his state New South Wales and Australia A and should make his Test debut against New Zealand at Brisbane on December 1.
Having played only 11 first-class matches, Warner has been pushed towards a baggy green due to an outstanding talent that first emerged via Twenty20 cricket. However, he has credited his Delhi Daredevils' captain and fellow opener Sehwag as the inspiration to realise his potential.
A candid conversation with Sehwag during the IPL inspired Warner to change his game.
"When I went to Delhi, Sehwag watched me a couple of times and said to me, 'You'll be a better Test cricketer than what you will be a Twenty20 player'," Warner said. "I basically looked at him and said, 'Mate, I haven't even played a first-class game yet'. But he said, 'All the fielders are around the bat. If the ball is there in your zone, you're still going to hit it. You're going to have ample opportunity to score runs'."
Sehwag’s career Test strike-rate of 82.12 is an outstanding facet which Warner, 25, was overawed by.
"(Sehwag) always says that the more balls that you see you're going to be tempted to try and score runs but you've just got to keep in the back of your mind what your zones are," he said.
"If it's in his zone, he backs himself. He's a great player that I've looked up to in the last couple of years, especially when I've been training with him and seeing how he goes about his stuff. He's always got this focus about scoring runs. When he opens, it could be 0 for 100 or 0 for 150 at lunch."
Warner hit a brisk 65 against the touring New Zealanders in Brisbane this week and, having been Australia's reserve batsman on each of their last two tours to Sri Lanka and South Africa, is primed for a Test debut.