In quick time, David Warner has gone from a Twenty20 specialist who wasn't trusted with a Cricket Australia contract, to "the savior of Australian cricket" and "future of cricket" by local scribes. Warner justified the hype yesterday by dazzling to the fastest century by an opener in Tests. He brought up his 69-ball ton when he clubbed a wide ball from debutant R Vinay Kumar towards the West Bank river. The close-up of Warner's celebration, the three feet high jump followed by the 100 metre sprint, must go down as the snapshot of 2012.
Ecstatic: Australia's David Warner celebrates after scoring the fastest
century by a Test opener at the WACA. PIC/Getty Images
The vocal WACA Ground crowd couldn't hold back the "Warner �Warner" chants as the explosive opener punched one past mid-off for his first boundary off Umesh Yadav. There was one close shout for leg-before by Zaheer Khan, but Warner's ability to get on top of the rising ball and execute scoring shots left Indian bowlers in a pitiable state. Very early in his knock, he was sledged by Delhi boys Ishant Sharma and Virat Kohli.
That didn't sit well with Warner. He drove and cut Zaheer with hostility, pulled Yadav wide off mid on, and greeted Vinay Kumar's entry to Test cricket with the most orthodox straight six in the book.
But, Warner saved his most telling blow for Ishant, who, in his very first over, delivered a length ball only to watch it sail back over his head for a huge six. At that stage, Ishant must have lamented jeering at the New South Welshman. He scored 29 off 24 balls from Zaheer, 28 from 20 from Yadav, 30 from 20 off Vinay, and 16 from 13 of Ishant.
Whilst on 80, a bouncer from Yadav struck him on the side of his helmet. He was early into the pull shot, and was left kneeling, evidently in a lot of pain. He later revealed the formation of bump. But, is keyed up to resume on his overnight score of 104 today.
When asked if the sledge from Ishant and Virat fired him up, Warner revealed: "When we were out there, there was a bit of banter between Virat, Ed (Cowan), me and Ishant. They were saying to us, talking about the averages, this and that, and 'when you come to India, it will be a different story'. "I turned around and said, 'mate, we will probably average an extra 10 in India because the wickets here (in Australia) are a bit lively, and over there they will be flat."
The 25-year-old didn't stop the verbal assault there. "In my mind, they think they are bowled over already. The challenge I see for them is they have got to work out how they are going to play outside India. "When they come out here, everyone talks about the bouncy wickets, and how they are going to approach it.
"I don't know when (Sachin) Tendulkar leaves, and (Rahul) Dravid leaves, when they are going to retire over the next couple of years, where Indian cricket is going to be at. "With the youngsters coming through, they are going to have to do the same thing. They are going to have to find a way to come out here and try to work hard on green wickets as well.
"Time will tell if we win 4-0, or if we win 3-0. Hopefully, we can get this Test out of the way. Hopefully, we can capitalise on the start we have got and win this Test," he said. "Hopefully, they know how to keep themselves quiet and we can carry on," he added.
Warner attributed Indian batsmen's aggressive mindset for their downfall. "The lines and lengths we have to bowl to the Indians � if you bowl the fifth-sixth stump line, they don't like leaving the ball. They like trying to hit every ball as much as possible. "It just shows that if we keep fishing out there, they are going to nick it. And that's exactly what they have been doing," he said.