"Who cares if one more light goes out in the sky of a million stars?"
When a cricketer commits a horrendous mistake, his reputation is hampered for life and no matter what he has done for his country thus far, he is always remembered because of that one mistake. There was a certain Sreesanth who took the crucial catch of Misbah-ul-Haq in 2007 ICC World T20, which made India the winners of the inaugural edition of the tournament. But one bad decision has destroyed every bit of reputation he had earned.
David Warner hasn't fixed a match like Sreesanth, but the Australian vice-captain was involved in a hideous ball tampering incident, owing to which he has lost not only his eminence but is also banned from cricket for a year.
However, Warner was one of the best players of the current Australian batch and his contribution towards the betterment of Australian cricket is unquestionable. Let us have a look at his 5 best performances, which doesn't need to be a collection of his highest scores, but his most impactful innings.
#5- 123* v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Hobart, 2011
To begin this list, we've got a match which Australia ended up losing. Despite that, Warner was awarded man of the match. This match was played in Hobart, on a wicket which gave goosebumps to the batters. The Kiwis scored 150 in the first innings, replying to which Australia managed to put 136 runs on the scoreboard.
New Zealand batted well in the second innings, which saw them accumulate 226 runs, something which seemed like 626 in any other batting-friendly pitch. A target of 241 runs seemed impossible, but Warner decided to show some stern resilience. While wickets were constantly falling at the other end, Warner solidified his stay at the other.
Unfortunately for him, cricket is not an individual sport. He remained not out on a highly commendable score of 123, but all of his compatriots bowed down to the Kiwis, as a result of which New Zealand won the game by a narrow margin of 7 runs. His innings comprised of 14 boundaries.
#4- 173 v South Africa, Cape Town, 5th ODI, 2016
Once again, this was a brilliant innings from Warner, but Australia ended up on the losing side. This was an ODI game against the Proteas in Cape Town. Batting first, the home side scored 327 runs, owing to some great batting displays from Rilee Rossouw and JP Duminy.
In reply, every Australian batter failed to do anything significant, which paved the way for Warner to become the one man army. Although he kept on losing his teammates at the other end, he didn't curb his shots.
The man from Paddington scored 173 runs in just 136 deliveries. Once again, Warner was adjudged the man of the match, despite being a member of the losing side. He struck 24 boundaries in that innings.
#3- 163 v Sri Lanka, Brisbane, Commonwealth Bank Series, 2012
On the 4th of March, 2012, Warner scored his maiden ODI century, and he did it in some fashion. It was the 1st Final of the CB Series, and the match was held in Brisbane. Batting first Australia put up a great score of 321, but more than half of those runs were scored by Warner.
The swashbuckling left-handed batsman scored 163 runs in this match, owing to which the men in green put up a pile of runs. Besides Warner, only Matthew Wade contributed to the humongous score.
Warner's innings was filled with 13 fours and 2 big hits. Sri Lanka fought back well and scored 306 runs, which shows how important Warner's innings was.
#2- 77 v South Africa, Johannesburg, 2nd T20I, 2016
Unlike the other innings mentioned previously, Warner found a trustworthy partner this time in Glenn Maxwell. Chasing a massive target of 205 in a T20I match against the Proteas in Johannesburg, Australia had a very poor start. Within the first six overs, the top 3 of Australian batting order were sent back to the pavilion, and they had just crossed the 30-run mark.
It was time for Maxwell and Warner to take charge. The bowlers received the same treatment from both the ends and Australia won the game in the very last ball. Warner scored 77 runs in just 40 deliveries.
His astonishing innings was filled with 6 boundaries and 5 sixes, meaning that 54 runs of his 77 came only from boundaries. This is an innings that both Davids, Wiese and Warner, will remember for the rest of their lives.
#1- 179 v Pakistan, Adelaide, 5th ODI, 2017
The 5th ODI match between Australia and Pakistan in 2017 was not typically an 'edge of the seat thriller', but it surely showcased the best of David Warner. Batting first, Australia built a wall of runs for Pakistan to climb, in form of 369 runs. Travis Head scored a brilliant 128, but the cricketing fraternity forgot him and went 'head' over heels for Warner.
And why shouldn't they? The pocket-sized dynamo scored 179 runs in just 128 deliveries, which is his career highest in ODI cricket. Warner struck as many as 19 boundaries in this match, each of them soothing to the eyes of every cricket lover, no matter which country he belongs to.
These five innings of David Warner clearly shows Warner's ability to turn the course of the match all by himself. He was both a technically sound and a naturally aggressive cricketer, which makes him a rare commodity.
Besides that, he was an impeccable leader. Under his guidance, IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad won their maiden IPL title. Dear David, the cricketing fraternity will the 'batsman' Warner for the next one year.
"Who cares if one more light goes out in the sky of a million stars? Well, I do"