Henriques in pursuit of consistency ahead of Test return
Henriques made his Test debut in 2013 in India and he made an impression in his very first game in Chennai by hitting two fifties in two innings including an unbeaten 81 in Australia’s second innings.
However, the 29-year-old was dropped for the fourth Test against India in Delhi after a string of poor scores in the second and third games and he has not featured in the format since then.
Looking back at his debut against India, Henriques feels that he can learn from that experience as he prepares to take on Sri Lanka in their own backyard.
“I feel a lot more comfortable around the group and I feel a lot more comfortable with my own game and where I stand,” Henriques told cricket.com.au.
“Going through that India tour was very important to see how tough Test cricket can actually get and how alien the conditions can be.
“The South African conditions are more similar to what we get in Australia, albeit against a very good Test opposition.
“They’re as different conditions as you’ll get in India, probably here (in Sri Lanka) as well, so it’s good to have had a taste and have that knowledge to fall back on if you’re struggling out in the field.”
Henriques also admitted that during his debut series in India, he failed to display consistency and is looking to draw inspiration from the likes of David Warner and Steven Smith.
“After one good Test I felt like I displayed I was good enough, but just not consistent enough,” Henriques said.
“That’s the biggest thing, to do it over and over again.
“I certainly feel like I’ve improved as a cricketer and given the opportunity I’d like to think I can do even better than I did then.
“I hope I’ve also learned how hard Test cricket actually is in terms of just backing up day after day, Test after Test.
“You’ll see our captain ‘Smithy’, and ‘Davey’ (Warner), how they perform Test after Test and they’re able to bounce back and just be extremely consistent all the time.
“It’s not just about one good performance, you’ve just got to keep churning them out and keep being as good as you can for as long as you can.”
The conditions in Sri Lanka are traditionally known to support spinners and batting on turning tracks can be a daunting task for any visiting team in the sub-continent.
After playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2016 Indian Premier League, Henriques said that he had a few good practice sessions on the spin-wicket prepared by Cricket Australia in Brisbane.
“The wickets obviously don’t spin as much in T20 cricket as they will here, but the wickets that we train on in the IPL do spin,” he said.
“It’s a completely different mindset, but they are similar conditions.
“(After the IPL) I was back home for five weeks where I was able to go up to Brisbane and train on the spinning wicket that Cricket Australia has developed up there, which is actually a really good wicket.
“We’ve still got 15-16 days in these conditions that we can soak up before the first Test match.”
Australia will play a three-day tour game before they head out to face Sri Lanka in the first Test which gets underway on 26th July in Pallekele.
© Cricket World 2016