Warner's match-winning act should inspire Sehwag

Jan 16, 2012, 07:06 IST | Ian Chappell
The irony of David Warner's knock was that it was played in front of Virender Sehwag, a man who told Warner he'd be a better player in Test cricket because the close fielding positions would suit his aggressive style. Seeing Warner play in such a manner should encourage a struggling Sehwag.

Brilliant: Warner with his stump souvenir in Perth. Pic/Getty Images

Warner's belligerent century not only demoralised an already flustered Indian side he also re-mastered a few thrills from other memorable knocks at the WACA. The diminutive Warner reminded me of the flamboyant West Indies opener Roy Fredericks who thrashed a hundred in 1975-76 in just seventy-one balls of mayhem. Warner beat that incredible performance by two balls.

Another West Indies opener, this one more on the burly side, Chris Gayle bludgeoned a hundred off just 70 balls at the WACA. Gayle hit a monstrous six that travelled one hundred and four metres but he did it off a spinner. Warner, the muscled marauder, beat Gayle to the century by a ball and managed to hit one of the Indian fast bowlers a massive 98 metres into the stands.

Blistering ton...
These blistering centuries stand out because the batsmen concerned were openers facing international new ball attacks. That takes as much nerve as skill. Then there was another innings, which 37 years on is still etched in Australian cricket folklore.

Dashing Doug Walters hit a six off the last ball at the WACA in 1974-75 to complete a century in the session of an Ashes Test match. It wasn't the last ball of the day but Warner reproduced that drama when he clouted Vinay Kumar for six to bring up his electrifying century. 

The reception Warner received when the ball landed over the ropes was one reserved for batsmen who play with entertainment uppermost in their mind no matter the form of the game. His response to the applause was full of emotion and fuelled by the adrenaline required to play an innings of such adventurous audacity.

Warner is a gifted player; to be mentioned in the same breath as Walters, Fredericks, Gayle and also Adam Gilchrist who scored the second fastest century ever in a Test at the WACA is not an exaggeration. And yet his greatest achievement is to play an innings of such daring in a Test match.

Two centuries in five Tests is an incredibly good start to an international career. Warner has already experienced an unbelievable high in scoring a Test century not just in a session but also from only 20 overs.

He'll have other days where things are not so good and there'll be occasions when he questions his method of playing. I just hope on those occasions he recalls that century at the WACA and the memory also remains vivid in the selectors' minds. That innings was Test cricket as you rarely see it; a long knock played in a short time.

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