It’s time for Australia to stop and appreciate David Warner’s magnificent career
As the idiom suggests, all good things must come to an end. And this is somewhat true.
David Warner has been a good thing. Some might argue a great thing. Others not so much. His name alone transcends and divides opinion around the water coolers of this nation. You could even argue that he is more despised than loved. However, the cricket lovers amongst us cannot deny he is one of our greatest Australian cricketers.
As the prelude of such an illustrious career that Warner has had has reached its zenith, the upcoming week in Sydney strikes the opportunity to reflect on what has been. By virtue of the fact, you cannot deny his numbers in comparison to his contemporaries.
Australian Test openers:
Warner: 44.6 average/70.3 strike rate/26 Test Centuries*
Hayden: 50.73 average/60.1 strike rate/30 Test Centuries
Langer: 45.27 average/54.2 Strike Rate/23 Test Centuries
Slater: 42.83 average/53.2 Strike Rate/14 Test Centuries
Taylor: 43.49 average/42.0 Strike Rate/19 Test Centuries
AUSTRALIAN ONE DAY BATTERS:
Warner: 45.3 average/97.26 strike rate/22 ODI Centuries
Ponting: 42.0 average/80.39 strike rate/30 ODI Centuries
Gilchrist: 35.8 average/96.94 strike rate/16 ODI Centuries
Clarke: 44.5 average/78.98 strike rate/8 ODI Centuries
Hayden: 43.8 average/78.96 strike rate/10 ODI Centuries
Finch: 38.8 average/87.73 strike rate/17 ODI Centuries
In Test cricket he well and truly has his contemporaries covered in terms of strike rate, only falling to Hayden in average and number of centuries. Hayden has long been touted as being our greatest Test opening batsman of all time, only illustrating this fact.
However, in the white-ball game Warner is clearly superior to the rest. A higher average and strike rate to the rest only falling to Ponting. His ability to switch between formats has been somewhat overlooked. As it is in the present day, one minute the professional cricketers are in their whites, the next in their pyjamas.
Some of Warner’s detractors will point to his away average of 32.5, yet his home Test average of 58.1 is clearly showing an over-reliance on home tracks. This stubbornly indestructible great of our game somehow needs to prove something to Australia that he is worthy of being bestowed as a great of our game.
In fact, he has had to prove himself his whole career.
The boy from housing commission in Sydney suburbs, who had to fight off neighourhood complaints due to his love for batting, to being selected for Australia in a T20I in Melbourne straight out of grade cricket to then being told he is playing Test cricket for Australia.
They said he couldn’t make it. He was just a left-handed slasher, a white-ball specialist, that Test cricket was the game that men play, and he was just a boy.
Yet in only his second Test he became one of six Australian Test openers to carry his bat, alongside Bill Lawry, Ian Redpath, David Boon, Mark Taylor and Simon Katich. His bold and somewhat entitled nature allowed him to prove everyone wrong, potentially proving himself wrong in some instances.
However, you can’t have a sophisticated and nuanced argument with dribblers at the pub without someone bringing up Sandpapergate.
This tediously petty yet somewhat crass moment in Australian sporting history was supposedly bred from Warner’s eye. He’s often been referred by some as a cheat. Yours truly would refer to him as a winner.
This winner was willing to do whatever it took for Australia to win. If that meant his character was to be assassinated, then so be it.
But isn’t that the Australian way? Shouldn’t we proud to have an Australian to do whatever it took? To quote rampaging Roy Slaven, “Everyone cheats, England cheats, Pakistan cheats. The only team that doesn’t cheat is New Zealand. But they don’t win.”