Melbourne, Nov.14 : An evening of Twenty20 cricket at the Gabba in Brisbane today, will see a new generation of cricketers going to work on innovative shots and styles with the potential to send the pyjama format of the game on a different evolutionary path.
An Australia XI will play an All Star XI in which players will be drawn from both Test and Sheffield Shield sides.
The ones to watch out for will be 23-year-old Peter Siddle, an emerging fast bowler, and 22-year-old Dave Warner, the New South Wales all-rounder, who has mastered the art of switching from left to right and vice-versa while pummeling the ball to all parts of the ground.
"There'll be a lot of different shots being invented," predicted Warner, an ambidextrous batsman and bowler able to clear the fence on either side of the wicket as a left-or right-hander.
Ed Cowan, another New South Wales player is also keen to explore the frontiers of contemporary batting, is one of many looking to baseball for inspiration.
Deliberate practice for Twenty20 cricket is the first step, he says, adding that it's no longer a case of 'let's have a bit of a slog at the end of nets'. It's different techniques. People are going to start swinging like a baseball bat, using different techniques - it's two different styles of batting.
Warner has done time at Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence, where the next generation of stars are put through their paces.
"More and more of those paces are at Twenty20 rather than Test speed, confirmed program manager Brian McFadyen.
"For three years, we've added a strong element of Twenty20 to our training programs but increasingly so over those three years. We've done a hell of a lot more in the last 12 months," he said.
Two days of a five-day under-18 camp last month were devoted to the compressed form. But, at this official level, the focus remains the cricketing all-rounder - one who can straddle Tests to Twenty20.
"That is a key objective, that we can produce players with the ability to be very, very good across two, or three of the different formats," McFadyen said.
Warner, yet to secure his first-class debut, is already headed that way and is in discussions with Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.