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  • 02 Apr
    David Warner, patient? In Sri Lanka, he knows he needs to be. Almost two years since his last Test hundred overseas, Warner is emphasising long innings and strike rotation as the keys to Australias success in Sri Lanka, and also in India next year.Not since a century in the first Test against Pakistan in Dubai in October 2014 has Warner topped three figures away from home ports, scoring minimally in the West Indies last year and then squandering plenty of starts in the Ashes as he tried to adapt his game. While conscious of not losing his natural attacking instincts, Warner said there would need to be more nuance to the way the Australias top order confronts Sri Lankas spin bowlers in particular.The challenge for us is about batting long periods of time, Warner said in Pallekele. We know thats what wins games in these conditions. Youve got to be able to bat well into the next day and thats the focus for us. Its about adapting to these conditions, adapting to the things that are thrown at us and we have to take those challenges. Its not about challenging specific bowlers. There are times in games when you might need to apply some pressure.Youve got to be patient enough. Youve got to rotate the strike. Your patience comes with hitting your four-balls, your boundary balls. Theyre the ones youve got to really wait on. Thats what were talking about with patience in this game, especially over here. Youve got to bite the bullet.[Rotating the strike] is the key, especially with a right-hand, left-hand combination, to try to mix it up a bit with the bowlers. These days a lot of teams either have a left-arm orthodox [spinner] or a right-arm offie. Youve always got to try to rotate the strike and thats the most important thing when it comes to playing spin or playing fast bowlers as well. Try to put the bowlers off a little bit.Asked about his lack of hundreds away from home in recent times, Warner said he would be trying to balance attack and defence. I always try my best, he said. If I have to bat for a day or a day-and-a-half, I go out there and I try to do that. But the element of my game is to try to score runs. I try to apply pressure on the bowlers and that has always been my game plan. Thats what I always set out to do and I probably wont change that. It has been a while since Ive scored a hundred outside the country. Weve got to start well, bat long periods of time.Tactically, Warner is expecting the series to be fought on an attritional basis at times, as the Australians try to adapt to a slower Asian Test match tempo while Sri Lanka set defensive fields and seek to prey on the visitors patience. Youre going to have to be prepared for some boring fields. Both teams are going to use that, he said. Youre going to have your sweepers out there, especially for the spinners. You are going to have your fielders in the deep, so you have to be prepared to get your runs in ones and twos.Whoever is the fittest team will probably win the games. It can be like that in these conditions. Unless youre going to blast them out of the park with the bat or your quicks somehow manage to go through them on low tracks, it is going to be a big grind. It is going to be a big grind. Thats where the spinners play a big role. Warner excelled as a captain earlier this year when he led Sunrisers Hyderabad to their first IPL title. As deputy to Steven Smith for Australia, he is looking to provide an example to players further down the order, making use of the Indian experience he has gleaned over the past decade. Tellingly, he said that practice pitches were often more useful than the strips used for matches.Times have changed. Its a bit different, Warner said of how his methods against spin had evolved. Thats the fortunate thing for us to go over and play IPL. Ive been over for eight years, nine years in a row now. Its the experience you gain from training on the wickets there, you can actually use that to your advantage. Yes its a white ball, but still the conditions and the surfaces, once they deteriorate, get quite challenging.In that form of the game, you have to try to score. So it gives you a bit of an advantage to actually, one, look to score but then improvise as well when you play Test cricket. The games about moving forward and we try to get on with the game and try to score. It gives you an advantage to look for those scoring options rather than just trying to survive. But then again, it does suit you in certain areas to get back in your crease and use your feet to survive as well.Nathan Lyon and Steve OKeefe have trained with near-new balls in the nets at Pallakele, and Warner said there would be times when both sides throw the ball to the spinners early on. A lot of teams have done that in the past in subcontinent conditions - we also saw that with Pakistan in the UAE, he said.I think the harder the ball, the more inconsistency with spin and variation and thats probably the main thing that skippers like to use. Plus the bounce. I think youll see that more in the second innings of the game; in the first innings, you probably wont see it too much unless were trying to dry up one end for both teams.Warner is entering the series with a fractured finger in the final stages of healing after he broke it during the ODI series in the West Indies. This is added to the thumb he has broken more than once, meaning he needs special reinforcement in his gloves and can expect to be dealing with pain when he bats and also, at times, in the field. Usman Khawaja has been practising to field in the slips, but Warner will be closer to the bat for the spinners, either at leg slip or second slip.Its going well at the moment. A couple of times when Ive hit on the toe [of the bat] its been a bit painful, Warner said. Ive experienced that before with the thumb but just with the game moving forward Ill do the same thing I did with the thumb - put a guard over the top thats underneath the glove and has a bit of silicon feel to it and stops a bit of vibration. But I should be ready to go. Wholesale Air Max Plus . Those lessons were more than enough to overwhelm the Utah Jazz. Lou Williams scored 25 points and the Hawks continued their offensive upswing as they rolled to an easy 118-85 victory over the Jazz on Friday night, winning their third straight and for the fourth time in five games. Cheap Air Max Plus Shoes . Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee? Green had bounced around the NBA when he wasnt playing overseas. The Pacers gave up on Plumlee after just one season. Now Green and Plumlee are key cogs in the Suns surprising breakout season. http://www.airmaxpluscheap.com/ . -- Peyton Manning will have all of his wide receivers available for the first time in a month when the Denver Broncos begin their playoff run Jan. Cheap Air Max Plus . -- Three close looks at the bucket, three misses. Buy Air Max Plus . -- About a third of the way through the regular season, the Washington Wizards are at . In November, espnWs weekly essay series will focus on giving.I first heard of Chinese Olympic swimmer Fu Yuanhui when someone on Facebook posted an article about her with the caption: I want to be her best friend. I winced and moved on. For days, I did not click on the link, until I saw even more people posting about her -- always with the same words. Shes amazing. I love her. Too real.Oh, no, I thought. Oh no. I knew exactly where this was going. But I clicked anyway.When I was in elementary school, I was the only Asian in my grade. On the playground, my classmates pretended to be Chinese, saying things like ching-chong-chaw and doing kung-fu. At my desk, I seethed but could not explain why -- only that it came from some deep feeling that my classmates were pretending to be Chinese the way kids pretend to be aliens or superheroes.One afternoon, my classmates had gathered around me, fascinated by my eyes. Theyre different, one of them announced, and then they all stepped in closer. I wondered if I had became a caricature by being fully Asian and half-Chinese.When I grew older, the narrative changed. After college, I spent some time studying Chinese in China, in an attempt to understand my mothers culture. The majority of my male classmates had arrived on a different quest: They wanted a girlfriend.Chinese women are beautiful, one of my classmates told me. He handed me his phone. The contacts list was filled with the names of women hed met clubbing. The album was packed with photographs of him wrapped around each of the women hed met, their faces green and silver from the flashing lights of the clubs.I cant speak the language, I hate the food here and I miss my family, he told me as he swiped through each picture so quickly the faces blurred together, but Im not going home until I get a girlfriend.Theyre different from American women, my apartment mate explained when I asked him about the allure. Theyre more feminine and more submissive. Perfect wife material.Chinese women had evolved to mean sexy. I couldnt decide if that was better or worse. Really, it was just about the same as being a caricature, but now served with a side of submission and breaasts.ddddddddddddith all of that in mind, I read all the stories and watched interviews of Fu Yuanhui, expecting a celebrity swimmer who was polite and poster beautiful.The unexpected happened: I too fell in love. I, too, wanted Fu Yuanhui to be my best friend. She wasnt poster-pretty. She was something far better: She was human.When Fu Yuanhui heard shed come in third at the 100-meter backstroke finals at the Rio Olympics, she gasped for air, stuttered and then mangled her lanyard from the sheer joy of winning. Her bubbling, over-the-top delight with life was infectious. In the photographs, while other athletes posed for the camera, smiles frozen in place, she clutched her medal mouth open in a silent roar of happiness. She made faces, grinned maniacally.The moment I truly fell for her was during the womens 4x100-meter medley relay when she emerged from the pool doubled over in pain. Her period left her feeling weak, she told the reporter, and she didnt swim her best. Then, she apologized for her performance and moved on.Never mind the cultural taboo that exists around periods, particularly in China, where tampons are hard to come by. Never mind the cultural taboos about periods that exist around the world. Fu Yuanhui swam in pain; she felt like she underperformed; she apologized; and that was all simply all there was to it.Fu Yuanhui didnt give us pretty, she gave us joy so fierce you could feel its power blasting through the camera lens. She didnt give us pitch-perfect celebrity-speak molded to showcase her best self to the press. She gave us herself, her incandescent happiness, her earthly pain.She showed us its possible to be loved by the world for simply being yourself. And for this, we loved her, for this we continue to love her: Fu Yuanhui, champion swimmer, champion human.Shalene Gupta is currently working on a novel about growing up Chinese-Indian in Minnesota. A former Fortune reporter, with an M.S. from Columbia Journalism School, she is currently a freelance writer living in Boston. Follow her @ShaleneGupta ' ' '