'That definitely is up there' - Warner rates MCG double as one of his finest
Opener revealed he was emotional after reaching his century having felt some pressure in the lead-up
David Warner believes his gutsy MCG double century, coming in his 100th Test, was probably the best knock of his glittering career.
Warner produced a stunning turnaround against South Africa on Tuesday, ending an-almost three-year century drought by smashing 200 in oppressive conditions.
The 36-year-old opener retired hurt after reaching his milestone, suffering heat stress and full-body cramps, and was assisted from the field by medical staff.
Warner returned to bat on Wednesday, but lasted just one ball after being bowled by South Africa quick Anrich Nortje, but reflected on his extraordinary innings before play on day three.
"I was going through that [his best knocks] the other day with a couple of the journos and that definitely is up there now," Warner told Channel Seven. "To go out there, a lot of pressure, I don't generally feel the pressure, I don't get nervous.
"But walking out here and telling my friends, 'I'm going out to play the way I want to, looking to score and have intent', and to deliver that in a Boxing Day Test which is the pinnacle as a kid…to go out and execute that emphatically was awesome."
Warner had been under immense pressure entering the final Test of the year, after averaging just 20.61 from 10 matches in 2022. The decline in Warner's red-ball form had been so sharp he had failed to pass 50 since the third Test against Pakistan in Lahore in March.
— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) December 27, 2022
- David Warner on what it was like facing that from Anrich Nortje.@copes9 | #AUSvSA pic.twitter.com/MYOnAj5tu2
Warner has hinted about retiring from Tests in the near future but is desperate to tour India and England. He has never won a Test series in either country.
"When your back's against the wall, you can only look to move forward, that's how I've always been," he said. "It was emotional, it was hard out there, it was draining.
"The build-up, the articles...but to come out here and just back myself and look to score, have that intent, which was probably missing from the last 12 months. It was a magical moment and so proud to do it in front of my family and friends."
Warner was the 10th player to score a century in his 100th Test and only the second Australian, after Ricky Ponting smashed twin centuries in 2006.
Steven Smith, who was himself battling flu, subbed in for a weary Warner during the post-play press conference on Tuesday.
He was confident the opener's 25th Test century was not a one-off, believing the innings can set Warner up for success in blockbuster tours of India and England next year.
"He's doing pretty well and played exceptionally well [on Tuesday]," Smith said. "I don't see any reason why he can't continue playing. Fingers crossed he can keep playing well, and he can play for as long as he likes, I'm assuming."