Sydney, Dec 30: With David Warner all set to play his final Test match when Australia face Pakistan at Sydney on January 3, former cricketer Greg Chappell has heaped praise on his career in the longer format, saying irrespective of what one thinks of him, the left-handed batter has been fantastic.
“Whatever one thinks of him, David Warner has been fantastic for Australian cricket. The passion, energy, professionalism and competitiveness that he has bought to every contest have been unmatched.”
“He must accept that he has allowed himself to be portrayed in a certain manner. No human being could please all of the people all of the time, and it is therefore unrealistic to expect someone in the public eye (and, in your face) for more than 14 years, to do that.”
“I know how hard it is to do what he has done through 111 Tests, so I hope that David’s harshest critics acknowledge his talent and contribution and forgive his human frailties. Martin Luther King said: “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude”. I hope Sydney farewells David Warner fondly next week,” wrote Chappell in his column for ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’ on Saturday.
In 111 Tests since his debut in 2011, Warner has scored 8695 runs at an average of 44.6, including 26 hundreds and 36 half-centuries, proving to snatch the game away from the opposition in quick time. Chappell also wrote on what make Warner click as a Test opener.
“Warner was such a brilliant player at the top of the order because he could take the game away from the opposition in a session, as he often did. A century before lunch against Pakistan at the SCG in 2017 comes readily to mind. It came off 78 balls and, in the process, he became the first to score a century before lunch on any day of a Test match in Australia.”
“Warner has made the life of his dozen opening partners much easier with his belligerent style. With a strike rate (runs per 100 balls) of 70, Davey took the opposition on. By doing that, he allowed his partners to go about their business sedately, without having to worry about the scoreboard. Doing the heavy lifting came naturally to him.”
“David has always been prepared to play a lot of shots, but he was not reckless. Most of his boundaries have come from classic strokes, though he has the ability to play the unconventional one when needed.”
“Very few can switch-hit with the aplomb of Warner. If needed, he could bat right-handed and make a pretty good fist of it. Pound for pound, no one hits the ball harder than David, but he has soft hands when required.”
The only blemish of Warner’s Test career will be the 2018 Sandpaper scandal in Cape Town, which led to him being banned by Cricket Australia from international and Australian domestic cricket for 12 months. Moreover, he was removed as the vice-captaincy, and banned from taking leadership roles.
“David will never live down the “Sandpaper Gate” incident. That scar on Australian cricket needs to be owned by a lot more people than Warner and Bancroft. Warner’s role in the success of Australian cricket during his time cannot be underestimated.”
“In the modern era, only Virender Sehwag has been more damaging than Warner as an opener. It is rare to have someone at the top of the order who intimidates even the fastest opposition bowlers,” concluded Chappell. (IANS)