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Former Australia captain, now a cricket commentator and columnist

Warner's Twenty20 Test ininngs

The Australian opener has shown he isn't afraid to play his natural game, no matter what the format

Ian Chappell

January 15, 2012

Comments: 39 | Text size: A | A

David Warner celebrates the fourth quickest century in Tests, Australia v India, 3rd Test, Perth, 1st day, January 13, 2012
David Warner: the crowd loves him and he loves them back © Getty Images
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So much for all the talk about David Warner being a Test player. He proved at the WACA that he's a 20-over specialist.

It's what he does. He has made back-to-back centuries in the Champions League and a hundred in the Big Bash League, both Twenty20 competitions. His latest century also took him 20 overs, but this time it was in a Test match and against the new-ball bowlers of a team that was recently ranked No. 1 in the world. Now that really is some 20-over specialist.

Warner's batting is attuned to T20 cricket but it translates into the Test match arena because he has the skill to compete at that level and the nerve to play his natural game. His innings at the WACA was like something out of a movie - a Warner Brothers flick.

The irony of his knock was that it was played against Virender Sehwag, a man who told Warner he'd be a better player in Test cricket because the close fielding positions would suit his aggressive style. Warner's belligerent century not only demoralised an already flustered Indian side, he also remastered a few thrills from other memorable knocks at the WACA.

The diminutive Warner reminded me of the flamboyant West Indies opener Roy Fredericks, who thrashed a hundred in 1975-76 in just 71 balls of mayhem. Warner beat that incredible performance by two balls.

Another West Indies opener, this one more burly, Chris Gayle, bludgeoned a hundred off just 70 balls at the WACA. Gayle hit a monstrous six that travelled 104 metres, but he did it off a spinner. Warner, the muscled marauder, beat Gayle to the century by a ball and managed to hit one of the Indian fast bowlers a massive 98 metres into the stands.

These blistering centuries stand out because the batsmen concerned were openers facing international new-ball attacks. That takes as much nerve as skill.

Another such innings, 37 years on, remains etched in Australian cricket folklore. Dashing Doug Walters hit a six off the last ball at the WACA in 1974-75 to complete a century in a session in an Ashes Test. It wasn't the last ball of the day but Warner reproduced that drama when he clouted Vinay Kumar for six to bring up his electrifying century.

The reception Warner received when the ball landed over the ropes was one reserved for batsmen who play with entertainment uppermost in their mind, no matter the form of the game. Many cricketers have received standing ovations but Warner is one of the rare ones who experienced an outpouring of unbridled joy at the pleasure of witnessing something extra special. His response to the applause was full of emotion and fuelled by the adrenaline required to play an innings of such adventurous audacity.

That Warner is mentioned in the same breath as Walters, Fredericks, Gayle, and also Adam Gilchrist, who scored the second-fastest century ever in a Test at the WACA, is not an exaggeration. And yet his greatest achievement is to have played an innings of such daring in a Test match.

Two centuries in five Tests is an incredibly good start to an international career. Warner will have other days where things are not so good, and there'll be occasions when he questions his method of playing. I just hope that on those occasions he recalls this century at the WACA, and that the memory also remains vivid in the selectors' minds. That innings was Test cricket as you rarely see it - a long knock played in a short time.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator and columnist

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Posted by   on (January 16, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

I think BnH1985Fan explains the reality well. Bashing a poor India attack when they are down and out is one thing - lets see how he goes against England and SA. Watching him bat you can see the gaping holes in his technique, which is why one assumes he wasn't picked earlier.

Posted by PiyushD on (January 16, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

Well they would say samething for Sehwag when he fires and when he fails they will say he should be more responsible, Warner you entertained and here you have priases and moment you start failing we will se a lot of things in you not responsible, no test match temprament, no technique. Welocme to International cricket. You know its better to be in Autralia than India as Australia plays other sports too.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

Warner will always be an impact player. It is possible with the fact that there will be bowlers and coaches who watch hours of video and analyse his technique and possibly find chinks in it. I have always maintained that his technique is better than that of Hughes who seemed so vulnerable. He is a modern version of Slater and Gilchrist in the one dayers. Of course his success will always depend on how long he sustains in the international circuit and how often he makes runs. Players who come to mind are Gayle and Sehwag and they taught bowlers a lesson or two. As long as Australia remembers that he will be an impact player and as long as the rest of the team too makes runs once in a while as they are supposed to , he can make a difference to Australian cricket not only with his batting but with his enormous enthuisasm in the field. Imagine Australia"s batting card in the two games where he scored centuries without his contributions! A player worth paying to watch sridhar

Posted by   on (January 16, 2012, 6:19 GMT)

I guess Virender Sehwag gave Warner the confidence to play test cricket with his natural agression, the former was just outstanding but the latter looks like to surpass the Indian marauder with his aggressive play in all formats of the game. Would love Viru to fire in the one-dayers atleast....if he and warner play to their full potential...it will be nightmare for bowlers all around the world.....Thanks to players like warner and sehwag, gayle who make test matches so interesting and High adrenaline....its sad that Gayle is not given a chance by the stupid WI selectors.......

Posted by ElvisKing on (January 16, 2012, 5:25 GMT)

I beg to differ with Ian Chappell, Warner just took advantage of India's low score of 161 and went hammer and tongs after the bowling since he knew even if got out there would be no pressure on him if fails to score. It would be a different ball game when there is good formidable total to chase, so far he has not been a success in this series except for this century. The real test will come when he is under pressure and then only you can judge him if comes out on top. Time will tell.

The reference by Chappell about India's NO. 1 ranking makes it sound as if Warner scored the runs against the best bowling side in the world ! What a joke ! This will be a good bowling attack in future but not at the moment. So make hay while the sun shines .

Posted by perkin-aus on (January 16, 2012, 4:24 GMT)

It is not co-incidence that the innings mentioned by Chappell all occurred at the WACA (along with the second highest individual Test score by Matt Hayden). This ground is a great one for good batsmen. Hard and fast outfields, a good seeing ground, good light and if you are batting at the start of an innings as Fredricks, Gayle, Hayden and Warner were, playing on the WACA deck while it is still hard, fast, true bounce and carry mean a good batsman can and will score well, score fast and score a mountain of runs. Pity there was not one Indian batsman who could claim to be in form with the bat or mentally.

Posted by Meety on (January 16, 2012, 2:26 GMT)

I'd be happy if he can continue the ratio of 2 tons in 5 tests for the rest of his career.

Posted by __PK on (January 16, 2012, 1:32 GMT)

Spot on. The only thing I'd add is that he made a modification to his batting to fit Test cricket - a more careful selection of which ball to play the big shot on. This is the difference between his batting and Sehwag's at the moment. Andrew Symonds did the same thing during his brief, but productive, stay in the side - keep your limited over shots, but be more circumspect about when to play them and in between, make sure your defence is solid.

Posted by Boba_Fett on (January 15, 2012, 23:18 GMT)

There was an interesting comment by Warner at the end of the game where he poiinted out that the majority of fieldsmen are placed behind the wickets. This gives him confidence to play so many straight drives in the air - the chances of him getting caught are very low. And the fact that he hits it so hard that even a mis-hit doesn't represent as much of a danger as it does to most other batsmen.

Posted by BnH1985Fan on (January 15, 2012, 21:59 GMT)

Warner looked good at Perth -- but India's bowling "attack" was really poor; easily WELL below the bowling attack from any current first class team in Australia or England. Against really good pace attacks, Warner may turn out to be like Sehwag -- looks great when he is firing on all cylinders, but looks horrible when is not. Unlike India's selectors who have given Sehwag umpteen opportunities, Australia's selectors will not keep Warner for long if he can't produce runs with consistency. Pressure to keep your place on the team is very high for every Australian player, never mind how well you have done in past (ask Simon Katich)!!

Posted by anserazim on (January 15, 2012, 18:54 GMT)

20-20 is destroying test cricket with the exception of innings played by Warner, Gayle, Fredricks, and Gilchrist.......... thats more than entertainment!!!!

Posted by anoopbal on (January 15, 2012, 18:21 GMT)

Wanna get n form, wanna change your team fortunes, invite India!

Can anybody look at the average area where Indian blowers and Australian bowlers are pitching the ball? Will show why Australia wins.

Posted by No1cricketfan on (January 15, 2012, 17:45 GMT)

ITS TOO EARLY TO THINK WARNER IS GREAT PLAYER, HIS TEST WILL BE WHEN HE PLAYS ON SLOW TURNERS AND AGAINST THE BETTER ATTACK.

Posted by nadu_1975 on (January 15, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

Yeah, it will be remembered for long. Viru's advice to this player has proved right. Great knock and great entertainment.

Posted by RSid on (January 15, 2012, 14:18 GMT)

While Warner's century was a fantastic one, its too early to say "he has arrived" in the test arena. Especially when Australia is searching for an opening pair. In light of not having a settled one down batsman, it is a bigger challenge. Teams will find a way to bowl to him. It will be interesting to follow that chess match. I wonder which direction Shewag would have been guided to had he been an Australian. Would they have been patient with his success rate?

Posted by   on (January 15, 2012, 13:50 GMT)

I dont think Warner is going to be a Gilchrist or he will be the next big flop

Posted by Percy_Fender on (January 15, 2012, 13:13 GMT)

Warner has shown that it is wrong to typecast any player as being good only for a particular format of the game.Though it may still be early days to suggest that he is cast in the Gilchrist, Slater, Hayden Sehwag mould, it is more than likely that he will hit a few centuries in this very fashion. Till he comes across bowlers who sort him out Then the confidence ebbs and one loses the plot. I recall Mark Greatbatch was as explosive as one can get. He scored hundereds in his first two tests and people thought he was due a long career. That did not happen though. I believe that a batsman like Warner might get away with this dynamite hitting but the truth is that his technique is not that of a long distance player. I do not wish to dampen Ian's enthusiasm but I wish he takes some time to assess players like Warner. The fact that he has made it only at 25 suggests that he is no Ponting or Clark or Hussey. He will of course be David Warner. The Ripper of the cricket world.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

Warner 5T 8I 2NO 383 63.83AV 85.49SR 2x100 0x50 43x4 6x6 Hughes 5T 9I 0NO 472 52.44AV 58.56SR 2x100 1x50 61x4 6x6

Pretty similar in the first 5 Tests, and Hughes wasn't getting blasted for his flamboyant technique yet.

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (January 15, 2012, 10:48 GMT)

I have disagreed with many things Ian Chappell has said about many players. But this one everybody has to completly agree. The Warner innings was pure magic. The "adventurous audacity" as Ian put it was mere joy to watch. The reputation of the team he played against, the reputation of the players he played against, the reputation of the Format nothing mattered. Clean, Clean Cleaaaaaaan hitting and the guts to stand up and get counted. These are the kind of players you go to watch a cricket match for.

Posted by Dannymania on (January 15, 2012, 10:30 GMT)

Good article.I personally don't like the 20-player tag but that doesn't mean that he isn't one.Test cricket is undoubtedly the best form of cricket due to the very nature of the game.It challenges players' ability,concentratiion,their adaptablity to the conditions,their skill,their charisma and their talent.The one who passes all these shouldn't be termed a 20-over specialist.20-over game also tests teams but it tests different stuff in players.It tests their talent,their aggression etc.Pakistanis are good at 20-over format because they have talent and aggression,they're a weaker side in test cricket because of their lack in concentration mostly.I think Players like Sehwag,Gayle,Gilchrist and Warner don't deserve a 20-over tag.A player like Afridi is termed a 20-over specialist,who doesn't care about the team performance or his own,he just goes and plays for entertainment.I dont know,i just don't like the title i guess.

Posted by spence1324 on (January 15, 2012, 10:01 GMT)

Yeah good innings, but lets see him do it against england and south africa who wont be scared to give him some chin music!

Posted by chandau on (January 15, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

"That innings was Test cricket as you rarely see it - a long knock played in a short time. " sums it up. surely any country will want an opener who can make 100 in 20 overs in any form of cricket. question is who will make way for watson when he returns from injury? not so long ago people were wondering where the players were be it batters or bowlers in Australia. now both seem aplenty; few quality batters not in the test team as well as pacies waiting for a turn. only chink in the armor may be a good spinner; but who needs one with ample pacies to go around :)

Posted by   on (January 15, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

its not good for india and also test cricket

Posted by   on (January 15, 2012, 8:57 GMT)

David should play the way he plays thats what worked for him. If he can destroy a bowling attack at the start on day one then look at the results that come with it. Hes an amazing player.

Posted by plod on (January 15, 2012, 8:00 GMT)

Well said Chappelli, I agreed with your much earlier assessment of him. Has a far better technique than Philip Hughes. It is demoralising for any attack to have a batsman going at 69 balls a hundred. He made one of the best Zaheer Khan look pedestrian. I was thrilled to be able to watch it. I reckon my nickname for Warner is better than that used by nine commentator, Mark Nicholas, Davey WARNER! Pleeese. Hulloooo. Mine is better, WOM Warner, Weapon of Mass destruction is so apt. Bring on Adelaide and the short square boundaries.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (January 15, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

Finally, a good article from Ian Chappell.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

Great innings . Lesson enough for Indian team to get the old legs out.. be open to defeats with newbies than heady humiliations with the old guns ! Kudoz to Warner. Being a hardcore indian fan..cant help but say.. australia are back in business thanks to some spineless performance by team india

Posted by   on (January 15, 2012, 7:08 GMT)

Warner Played his inning but Sir Chappell you must understand it will be a conflicting issue to embed T20 and One Day in Test Cricket. It is not always possible for Warner to play such inning against quality bowlers of test cricket. Its just poor Indians which make Warner job easier at the top. Test Cricket is totally different from One Day and T20s.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2012, 7:02 GMT)

too early to be lauding Warner, I would wait to see him perform against some better test attacks likes of South Africa, England and Pakistan. Indians are not famous for producing fast bowlers and there he had four of them to murder. He is all about entertainment and I look forward to more of these knocks

Posted by cricinfo_2010 on (January 15, 2012, 6:20 GMT)

Ok, It just was warner's day. He played so many lost shots, slashes and misses, missed run outs, ball falling just short of slip cordon and then you have mediocre indian bowling...he made use of all that..if Sachin had even 10% luck like warner, he would have made triple.

Posted by donda on (January 15, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

This innings reminds me one of the many innings by Ghillcrist , australia once again has an attacking left hander who can win a match in 20 overs. He has that it factor.

Warner is the prime example of the power of T2020 cricket and affirm T2020 cricket future as the future of cricket. Test cricket is boring, ODI is slow but T2020 is fast entertaining and worth watching.

Warner won this match single handed and that's the beauty of T2020 cricket.

Salute to english county cricket, martin crowe and IPL for producing T2020 players who can entertain us even in Test cricket.

What a player and what an innings.

Posted by Kaze on (January 15, 2012, 5:12 GMT)

Warner will be good, now to get Hughes sorted out and back in the Test side.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2012, 5:12 GMT)

very well said Ian. very sure that should be once in a blue moon. test cricket is not a joke. warner will see the days exactly shewag is having in this series, then people will ask question, why cant he just defend that ball? sort of. The likes of shane watson is important in the team, who has gone through all forms of game, should be mentoring warner more than anybody. watson who plays test with strike rate of 60 odd, ODI with 80-90 odd while 130+ in t20 and he had proven very valuable for australian cricket. its not that he cant hit 6's in a game(185*vs bangladesh). still lot of time to learn for warner.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (January 15, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

The other thing that will buy Warner truckloads of respect is he got hit twice - and hurt badly - but played on. That is the sort of thing that defines a player as a Test player. That is the fighting quality that is required to play Test cricket. No one should ever question his credentials again.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2012, 5:06 GMT)

Warner has da potential to Provide Explosive starts To Australian Cricket Team In Tests,ODIs and T20S in the Future.....

Posted by   on (January 15, 2012, 5:00 GMT)

I am much more impressed with his century against the really decent New Zealand bowling attack. For me it is all about the QUALITY of the bowling attack when evaluating a batsman's performance. If D. Warner can accomplish the same fete against the Protea bowling attack or the Enland or Pakistani bowling attacks, but especially against the former, then I will be truly impressed. As for now the world's best bowler and his compatriots will only smile and think . . . "D. Warner, we dare you to try and do the same (180 runs off 159 balls) against us on the world's fastest cricket pitches!"

Posted by jonesy2 on (January 15, 2012, 4:59 GMT)

kim hughes- "dave warner is the most exciting player since viv richards". sounds about right

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 15, 2012, 4:32 GMT)

There's no doubt that this was a fantastic innings by Warner, but I'm still not necessarily convinced by him as a test opener. Given the state of the match and the series when he came to the crease, he was under absolutely zero pressure and that freed him to play basically a T20 innings, which we already know he can do. He still had to play it though, and there are not many other people who could have played it like that, so it was impressive. It's how he can play when there is some pressure that will be relevant. To that end, his innings in Hobart was probably more telling. In Sydney though, he was kept quite for a while and tried to break the shackles and got out. That's just one innings though, so we'll need much more evidence than that to make an informed judgement. I'll say one thing though: at least he uses his feet and not just his eyes and hands, unlike a certain like-minded Indian batsman. That will stand him in good stead to succeed, if he can concentrate as required.

Posted by shahbazhussain on (January 15, 2012, 3:37 GMT)

DW is a real entertainer. After watching live his super knock at WACA. I went to see his other CL20 back to back knocks. Guess what, I never ever saw any player with such great controlled ball hitting stamina for no reason other than willing to showing hate why ball is approaching him 6 times in an over. That is the way he wants to play. I found this guy very late but at 25 he is not too late. He has to go another 15 years. I see him breaking 37-ball knock in ODI, 219-runs King2 and score as many fastest 100s, 50s in all formats for Australia. May be you can call him David Warner = Sehwag+Afridi+Gillchrist+Gayle+DeVilliers+K.Petersen. He is NOT going to be a great cricketer. David Warner is already a legend in all formats. Nobody ever equipped with such power hitting that seems like Nukes. David Warner is the guy I love to watch him and avoid my sleep to see him in action. His 180 knock is the most outstanding hit I ever witnessed. I cant talk about the folks who did it before 2000.

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Ian ChappellClose
Ian Chappell Widely regarded as the best Australian captain of the last 50 years, Ian Chappell moulded a team in his image: tough, positive, and fearless. Even though Chappell sometimes risked defeat playing for a win, Australia did not lose a Test series under him between 1971 and 1975. He was an aggressive batsman himself, always ready to hook a bouncer and unafraid to use his feet against the spinners. In 1977 he played a lead role in the defection of a number of Australian players to Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, which did not endear him to the administrators, who he regarded with contempt in any case. After retirement, he made an easy switch to television, where he has come to be known as a trenchant and fiercely independent voice.

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