David Warner will be worth the rollercoaster ride
Date: December 28, 2012 / Posted by Glenn Mitchell
Not everybody seems enamoured by David Warner’s methodology and hence his position as a Test opener.
For mine, he is a key to the Australian team and possesses that X-factor that has the ability to totally demoralize an opposition.
Of the players available in Australia at present, I would have him in my team every time.
He has the ability to turn a match in a session and when he bats as he did yesterday he can enthral a crowd of 67,000 at the ground and thousands more who are glued to their televisions.
Many question his consistency, but with a player like Warner, you have to expect that he is not going to come off every time.
It is worth remembering, however, that at first-class level Warner is a very inexperienced player.
The current match in Melbourne is just his 26th in first-class ranks and 14 of them have been in the baggy green.
Given that fact he is still very much learning his craft in the longer form of the game, and given his first-class average is 49.6, he is learning reasonably rapidly.
His value to Michael Clarke’s side is significant in several ways.
He is a genuine scorer all around the wicket which makes it very difficult to set a field to him – anything well up will be driven hard through the covers, or indeed lofted over long-on, whilst he can be severe on both sides of the wicket to anything short.
In effect, he can play with the minds of the quick bowlers and their skipper.
He can also play a major role in unsettling the spinners when they are introduced when he is well set.
His attacking attitude can soon have spinners under enormous pressure early on in their spell
This summer he has displayed a level of consistency in the Test arena – 4, 119, 41, 13, 29, 57, 68 and 62 – for a tally of 393 runs at 49.
Yes, he was run out in Hobart (57) and he surrendered his wicket yesterday for 62, but on both occasions Australia had made a solid start by the time he departed with respective scores of 2/97 and 1/95, and he had also piled pressure on the opposing captain and his bowling armoury.
His first innings at the MCG, his 24th in Test ranks, took his career tally to 983 runs at 45.
It is interesting to compare those figures with two of the most dominant fast scoring openers, both with career averages over 50, in the modern era.
Matthew Hayden brought up his 1000th Test run in his 27th innings while Virender Sehwag reached the benchmark in his 25th knock.
In his 14th Test, Warner has notched up three centuries and four half-centuries.
That is a very fine return for an opener against the new ball.
Fans will have to endure, no doubt, periods of frustration with Warner’s approach but on face value so far the pain is well worth the gain when he is on song.
Over time he is likely to temper his approach at Test level but it would be a shame to see him lose too much of his naturally aggressive streak.
Hopefully, he will always be a player who is willing to push his chips towards the middle of the table.
While the likes of the two Michaels – Clarke and Hussey – doubtlessly occupy the opposing captain’s thoughts in the lead-in to a Test match, make no mistake, David Warner would also help produce some sleepless nights.
Warner, at his best, is akin to Gulliver taking on the Lilliputians.
It may well be a rollercoaster in the years ahead, so strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.
Chances are, it will never be boring.
First published on The Roar – theroar.com.au – on 27 December 2012