AUS vs SA: David Warner’s double ton on Boxing day is a statement

Australia v South Africa - Second Test: Day 4
Australia v South Africa - Second Test: Day 4

A stunning double hundred by David Warner in his 100th Test match at the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) against South Africa’s hostile pace attack is a big statement from the Australian veteran. Recently, he has been under fire for a dip in form in red-ball cricket.

Australia’s dashing opening batter scored 200 off 255 to silence his critics and ensured the cricket fraternity that his time is not over, for now. For his heroics with the bat, David Warner deservedly won the player of the match award.

The left-handed opening batter has amassed 8,122 runs in 100 Tests, laced with 25 centuries, at a healthy batting average of 46.4. During his stunning but controversial career, the southpaw scored a triple hundred against Pakistan in Perth and two double hundreds, one each against New Zealand and South Africa.

A double century for David Warner! But his #OhWhatAFeeling jump comes at a cost! 😬#AUSvSA | @Toyota_Aus

8,000 runs in the longest format is another feather in his dazzling cap. However, larger questions about his fitness, form and age also do remain valid.

Feats and Controversies

David Warner’s cricketing career has witnessed many ups and downs. His heroics at the MCG telegraphed a message of his comeback of sorts in red ball cricket. Sadly, in his otherwise glamorous and inspiring career across three formats, the 2018 Newlands ball-tampering controversy will continue to follow him and perhaps remain with him forever.

David Warner caps off an incredible 100th Test with the Johnny Mullagh Medal #AUSvSA

For any aspiring opening batter, David Warner’s extraordinary feats across all formats for Australia are worth emulating. However, the form seems to have deserted Warner in recent times.

Before this fixture, the 36-year-old cricketer from Paddington, New South Wales, scored his last test ton nearly three years ago, on 3rd January 2020, against New Zealand in Sydney. Earlier this year, in a series against the West Indies and in the ongoing test series against South Africa, Warner failed to get to a fifty in home conditions. But he made a comeback in the recently concluded MCG Test.

To say that David Warner has been a run machine for Australia would be an understatement.

In 141 ODIs, he has amassed 6007 runs while stroking 19 hundreds and 27 fifties at an average of 45.16. In 99 T20Is, he has scored a solitary century and 24 fifties while piling up 2894 runs. For any T20 franchise around the globe, David Warner is a dream man to have in their ranks. Besides this, he is a gun fielder.

With nearly 17,000 international runs (45 centuries and 85 fifties), Warner has stamped his authority on world cricket. In T20 cricket, the Aussie legend has over 11,000 runs. In the Indian Premier League (IPL), Warner has been the backbone of Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Warner’s leadership qualities came under the scanner when he was accused of instructing Cameron Bancroft, then his teammate, to use sandpaper on the ball in the controversial Cape Town Test in 2018 against South Africa. The Australian cricket board, known as Cricket Australia placed a 12-month-long ban on the batter and also stripped him of the vice-captaincy. It was a massive blow to his career and ambition.

In ODIs and T20Is, David Warner debuted in 2009. He was handed a Test debut in 2011. For over a decade, the Aussie cricketer has dominated the scene. Known for his aggressive style, Warner is someone the team relies upon on the field as well. He is a livewire. His agility and athleticism are second to none.

Will Warner hang up his boots after scoring a double ton against South Africa in his 100th Test or continue playing the red ball so long his body allows him to? No matter what happens eventually, Warner continues to be a role model if one gives him the benefit of the doubt over his controversial leadership role.

Despite the blemishes, David Warner deserves respect as a player.

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Edited by Tejas Rathi
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