Sydney, Jan 1: Australia’s fast-bowling great Glenn McGrath has urged David Warner to go out and be positive in his Test cricket farewell match against Pakistan starting on January 3 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. While Australia will be aiming for a 3-0 sweep, it will also be the last time Warner plays Test cricket in what will be his 112th match in the format.
In 111 Tests since his debut in 2011, Warner has scored 8695 runs at an average of 44.6, including 26 fifties and 36 half-centuries, proving to snatch the game away from the opposition in quick time and being one of Australia’s most successful openers in the format.
"Go out, be positive. We saw him come out and get a good hundred over in Perth, just going back to the way he plays. Hopefully he can go out on a high. It'd be great to see him get a hundred here in front of his home crowd," McGrath was quoted as saying by The West Australian at the SCG.
Warner was considered by some a limited overs specialist at the outset of his career having been chosen for Australia’s T20I team in 2009 before he had played a first-class game. He was selected for the Australian Test team after a series of strong performances for his native NSW team in domestic cricket.
This decision was soon vindicated with Warner making his maiden century (123 not out) in his second Test against New Zealand in Hobart, carrying his bat in an unsuccessful run chase. While renowned for his blistering innings including his 69-ball century against India at the WACA Ground in 2012, he could also occupy the crease.
Warner became the seventh Australian batter to score a Test triple century making 335 not out against Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval in 2019. As of now, Warner sits as Australia’s fifth greatest Test run scorer and the second greatest run scorer in all formats with 18,521 behind only Ricky Ponting (27,368).
“Congratulations to David on an amazing Test career. We are all extremely grateful for his immense contribution to this form of the game. David’s wonderful attacking style not only played a vital role in many Australian victories, it also enthralled and entertained fans across the world and drew many to Test cricket.”
“I’m sure David’s home crowd will give him a tremendous farewell at the SCG, and we all look forward to him continuing to be a valuable contributor to Australia’s white ball campaigns,” said Nick Hockley, CA CEO.
Incidentally, McGrath had called time on his Test career in 2007 alongside Shane Warne and Justin Langer at the SCG after Australia thrashed England by ten wickets to secure a 5-0 Ashes win.
"You're a long time retired, and I guess I only had one fear when I played, and that was if I walked off the field at the end of the day and didn't back myself on the field. I love seeing sportspeople go out and play without fear and I think he does that," he added.
Warner's swansong in Test cricket coincides with the 16th edition of the Pink Test at the SCG, with all the proceeds going to the McGrath Foundation, a fundraising initiative aimed at helping provide breast cancer patients with nurses.
“Our mission at the McGrath Foundation is to ensure that no one goes through breast cancer without the care of a breast care nurse. To do this we need 250 McGrath Breast Care Nurses and through the Pink Test we believe this is a target we can achieve this year.”
“Every year in Australia more than 20,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer and unfortunately around 1 in 5 miss out on the support of a breast care nurse. We’re calling on Australians to unite in pink by buying a Virtual Pink Seat this Pink Test,” concluded McGrath, the co-founder and President of the organisation. (IANS)