The significance of David Warner’s 200 v Australia at the MCG
The significance of David Warner’s 200: David Warner’s unbeaten 200 was the first double-century by an Australia batter in a Boxing Day Test since Ricky Ponting’s 257 against India in 2004, and is the third 200-plus score of the opener’s gilded career that now sees him the nation’s seventh-highest runs scorer.
You are Sachin Tendulkar if you carry the expectations of 100 crore people and still don’t lose your cool on a cricket pitch.
You are Brian Lara if you manage to reclaim a world record score in a Test match ten years after having first set it.
Likewise, you are AB de Villiers if you score the fastest century and 150 in ODI cricket and despite being India’s adopted son are never involved in an ugly spat on the turf.
But you are most definitely David Warner if you manage to hit a double hundred in your hundredth game and that too, in a format where you were once stripped off your very place.
There are things that normal batsmen do; they hit centuries after having run into a lean patch.
But there are things that only a David Warner can do- no one else can.
A couple of summers ago, a man was seen practicing shadow batting in the streets of Sydney perceptibly ruing the lost chance of representing the very nation he had put to shame thanks to the utterly unnecessary ‘Sandpaper’ saga.
That very man was retired hurt in the most recent Test match that his Australia won by a humongous margin and that too, against the very opponent he’d connivingly planned against.
Though it wasn’t before tearing down the Proteas in front of a sublime gathering at the MCG courtesy a valiant 200.
In so doing, one of Australia’s most dashing- and yet- widely debated batsmen of all time reclaimed himself.
He did to batting what a woodcutter does mercilessly to a branch of a tree for that’s just his job. There’s nothing personal about it.
Ditto for Warner; the way he hammered Rabada, toyed with Ngidi and attacked Jansen was nothing personal; it was just David Warner things.
And things happen when one of the most pre-eminent batsmen of all time takes guard on home soil.
Things can get outrageous even, perhaps which is why Australia’s maverick son ended up with a strike rate of 78 in a Test. That’s when he had batted not with a random burst of energy, but for a full span of 42.3 overs, to be precise.
During his 255-ball-knock, David Warner extolled upon South Africa a period of misery that was toxic, vitriolic and an experience totally unpleasant.
Say something as bad as being asked to sing on live stage when you have a sore throat and most importantly, have stage fright.
You just aren’t meant for it. In similar fashion, the Protea wild gang of Rabada, Ngidi, Nortje and Jansen weren’t ready for it.
And yet, they had to put up with Warner, a bloke who much of the creme de la creme clan of world class bowlers find hard to deal with.
But one reckons the true significance of David Warner’s 200 run outing against the Aussies was that his famous instinct for domination hadn’t deserted him.
The batsman who does appear on some odd days akin to an overbearing school bully, one you’d like to show his true place to, was quick to place South African bowlers to their place; it’s as if world-class fast bowling talents like Rabada and Ngidi didn’t belong to the top tier of world cricket.
On the whole, David Warner’s 200 also just about managed to lend what was an ordinary year with some much-needed “touch up.”
In the days prior to his whirlwind double century against the South Africans, the leftie was anything but in form.
Barring some promising fifties at Rawalpindi and Lahore, there wasn’t much going for David Warner anyway.
For a batsman who scored single-digit scores on nine out of 20 occasions this year in Test cricket, Warner applied a healing balm of sorts to his woeful 2022 outing.
Thanks to his entertaining double century, Warner was able to push his overall Test tally of runs in 2022 to a figure north of 550.
And while that may not seem mighty impressive anyway, the very fact that the big shots are (still) coming and the undoubtable fitness isn’t hard to hide,, it’s safe to assume that David Warner is going strong.
And that he’s not going anywhere.