David Warner - The new master blaster?
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Last Updated: Friday, March 09, 2012, 14:54
  
David Warner - The new master blaster?Suyash Srivastava

Don’t judge him by his size. When 5’7’’ David Warner walked on the field to make his Twenty20 debut against South Africa at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on January 11, 2009, he had already entered the history books by becoming the first Australian cricketer in 132 years to be selected for a national team in any format without prior experience in first-class cricket. John Hodges and Tom Kendall, who played in the very first Test match in 1877, are the only other players to have done so. As the cricket fraternity questioned his selection, the swashbuckling opener blistered 89 runs off 43 balls with 7 fours and 6 sixes in his debut match, a knock that included the then second-fastest fifty in T20 International history.

His ability to play through the innings has also helped him cement a place in the squad. His maiden ton in ODIs against Sri Lanka (163 runs) on March 04 also saw him play almost through the entire innings - he was bowled of the last ball of the Australian innings. As Australia fumbled and were bundled for a paltry 223 runs in Australia`s unsuccessful run chase against New Zealand in Hobart on December 12, 2011, a proud Warner scored his maiden unbeaten Test hundred (123 runs), and received a standing ovation in spite of being on the losing side. He also became the only third Australian and sixth cricketer ever to have carried the bat through the fourth innings of a Test match.

On October 07, 2011, the 25-year-old became the first cricketer to score consecutive T20 hundreds, when he scored an unbeaten 135 against Chennai Super Kings followed by an unbeaten 123 against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Both matches were in the Champions League in which Warner amused the crowd with his palti hits. As per reports, during his coaching days, Warner was asked by his coach to bat right-handed as he kept hitting the ball in the air. Thus, what was once a punishment of sorts has now become a potent weapon for the New South Wales opening batsman.

In the initial phase, many reckoned that the exciting left-hander was more of a T20 specialist who could bludgeon through the innings at any point of time, as and when required. But Australia’s new tormentor-in-chief, who hit two centuries in his debut Test summer has now established himself as a versatile cricketer.

Such was his impact in Tests, that regular opener Watson who made a comeback to his side after injury, reckoned a few days earlier that he wasn’t sure if he would be playing in the Test side as an opening batsman. Ending speculation, the selectors announced on March 04 that Watson would now be playing at number three for the side as it was almost impossible for them to ignore and replace the opening pair of Ed Cowan and Warner who complemented each other very well with their batting style.


Warner’s ability to play switch hits, consistently at will, is something which once again categorizes him into a rare species of batsmen. He is known to use the revolutionary flat bat, which allows batsmen to use either side of the blade. He is an asset to the Australian side due to his athleticism on the field. During death overs, Warner is often seen fielding at long-off or long-on where he has already pulled off some blinders.

By ousting Ponting from the ODIs recently, the Australian selectors have clearly sent a message that non-performance will not be tolerated. This may be the reason why we have seen Warner play more responsibly in the CB series, without being too slow. He has been playing sensible cricket of late by pulling his leg off the pedal when the batsman at the other end is in an attacking mode and when required, has changed gears to vandalize the oppositions.

Cricket pundits have come up with synonyms for such attacking cricketers in the past. Tendulkar has had many, Afridi was named as ‘Boom Boom Afridi’ and Sehwag became the ‘Sultan of Multan’. Isn’t it time that we give this young talent a synonym for his swashbuckling cricket. Any suggestions?


By ousting Ponting from the ODIs recently, the Australian selectors have clearly sent a message that non-performance will not be tolerated. This may be the reason why we have seen Warner play more responsibly in the CB series, without being too slow. He has been playing sensible cricket of late by pulling his leg off the pedal when the batsman at the other end is in an attacking mode and when required, has changed gears to vandalize the oppositions.

The cricket pundits have come up with synonyms for such attacking cricketers in the past. Tendulkar has had many, Afridi was named as ‘Boom Boom Afridi’ and Sehwag became the ‘Sultan of Multan’. Isn’t it time that we give this young talent a synonym for his swashbuckling cricket. Any suggestions?

First Published: Friday, March 09, 2012, 14:54


(The views expressed by the author are personal)
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