Australia opener David Warner said that he was never concerned with answering critics and was only looking to put the Sri Lankan bowlers under pressure. Warner scored 65 off 42 balls in what was his first T20 half century since April, shaking off a spate of poor form that led to him getting dropped from the SunRisers Hyderabad squad in this year’s Indian Premier League.

Warner scored a duck and one run in Australia’s two warm-up games before getting out for 14 runs against South Africa. His first boundary on Thursday came off Sri Lanka’s mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana and he said it was the same shot that cost him his wicket against Ravichandran Ashwin in Australia’s first warm-up match against India.

“I got criticised when I got out to Ashwin in the practice game playing the same shot,” Warner said after Australia’s seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka. “We know which bowlers are bowling what, we know where the fields are and we know how to try and apply pressure. If it comes off, it comes off.

“When they’re coming over the wicket, they’ve obviously got their carrom ball to come straight down the line. For me, it’s actually a low-risk shot to go with the spin and because you’ve only got two (fielders) out to protect, you’ve got to back yourself. It’s a shot that I favour. You’ve got to apply pressure and that’s how I start my innings against spin,” he said.

Warner had said before the match that he couldn’t understand all the talk about his form as he had hardly played any cricket this year. He said that he was just looking to get Australia off to a good start in their chase of the target of 155.

“Tonight, I had to obviously start fresh,” Warner said. “Everyone was talking about my form, which I reiterated was not a thing I was worried about. It was about going out there and starting well. That’s all we’re trying to do, apply pressure to the bowlers,” he said.

“It was great to get out there in the middle and spend some time there, running between the wickets. Little things like that just keep your mind ticking. Obviously in the last six to 12 months we haven’t played that much cricket so I haven’t been in those situations too often. It’s not so much about getting runs for myself, it’s about getting us off to a good start and we managed to do that.

“Shutting the critics down? No, never. That’s the world of sport. When you ride the highs, you’ve got to ride the lows and you’ve got to stay confident, keep a smile on your face, and never let it get to you,” he said.

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