Cricket

‘Like poking the bear’ - Warner thrives on criticism

The quintessential fighter: Warner has fought back with elan every time there’s been a setback in his career.   | Photo Credit: AFP

David Warner may be a polarising figure, but the aggressive opening batsman is rarely boring and his heroics for Australia at the Twenty20 World Cup signalled he is back at his explosive best.

Now 35, Warner boasts an average just shy of 50 from his 86 Tests, with his swashbuckling presence able to turn a game.

Unfinished business

An attacking left-hander, Warner will feel he has unfinished business after a miserable Ashes on English soil in 2019 where he tallied just 95 runs at a meagre 9.5. Stuart Broad was his nemesis, dismissing him seven times.

He has scored 4,551 of his 7,311 Test runs at home, smacking 18 centuries at an average of 63.20 from his 45 Tests, plundering a highest score of 335.

Warner made a modest debut in Brisbane 10 years ago but then carried his bat with a career-defining century in his second game at Hobart to signal his arrival.

The villain

He went on to establish himself as one of the best all-format openers in the world, before it all came crashing down and his reputation was trashed.

Warner was cast as the villain in the ‘Sandpaper-gate’ ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in 2018.

Warner served a 12-month ban before being called up again, and promptly picked up where he left off, enjoying a prolific one-day World Cup before his poor Ashes series in 2019 that again had the critics writing him off.

But in typical fashion, he bounced back emphatically by scoring an epic unbeaten 335 against Pakistan in Adelaide later that year.

World Cup exploits

Another lean spell this year cost him his place on his Indian Premier League team, but once more he proved the doubters wrong with his T20 World Cup exploits.

Aaron Finch, skipper of Australia’s triumphant T20 team, said Warner thrived on criticism. “Can’t believe people wrote him off,” he said. “That’s when he plays his best cricket. It was almost like poking the bear.”


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 2:59:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/like-poking-the-bear-warner-thrives-on-criticism/article37812000.ece

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