David Warner beckons at least a documentary film on his exasperating career if not a full-fledged motion picture. While the subject of the film’s work should of course be, David Warner’s 300, it should delve deep into the psyche of a cricketer; the mindset of a batsman and should underline the importance of mental toughness in forging a bright career.
It’s not down to the fact that when he punched a shorter one from Pakistan’s Mohammad Abbas toward the mid-wicket boundary, on the first ball of Australian innings’ 120th over, he completed the most colossal effort of his career in the form of a triple century.
It’s down to the fact that for a batsman who was down and out from the public imagination (not too long ago) for being guilty of ball-tampering, maligning the spirit of the sport akin to a corrupt lobbyist who sells his soul in front of the greed of bagging rewards from lucrative corporate deals, Warner has answered back not only his critics but even disappointed fans who had cast him aside.
In the process of scoring his maiden Test triple and Australia’s eighth in the format considered the ultimate test for a cricketer, David Warner has risen from darkness and thrown light at all who subjected him to small talk, going as far as questioning his presence in the game.
In a matter of months, the man behind headline-making David Warner’s 335 has gone from being derided into someone who is being hailed even as he had begun offering atonement months earlier, when in the World Cup 2019, the left-handed master batsman was seen scoring lots of runs amid a climate of booing.
But put the statistical weight of David Warner’s triple hundred aside, you realize, the pocket-sized dynamo, whose batting reach soars toward the skies, is actually forwarding the great legacy of Australian batsmanship.
The Don’s exploits
He comes from a country whose talismanic batsmen of the past have had more say in registering triple hundreds than any teams in the current structure of the game.
The first Australian to hit a triple hundred was the unquestionably admirable Sir Don Bradman. At a time where most batsmen dream of scoring a test triple, Sir Don amazed and induces awe having a column for his triple centuries. He was merely a 21-year-old when Sir Don carved a 334 against Australia’s staunchest rivals, England. The year was 1930 and body-line bowling was about as prominent as in today’s contests.
Bradman seized the combined threat of Hammond, Tate, and Larwood in front of his astonishing stroke-play and that great appetite for scoring runs. For a triple hundred, his 334 was also a reminder to England that Australia bettered their rivals, despite starring in a “draw,” Sir Don’s effort pushing fans of Australia’s big rivals to offer standing ovation. Moreover, he darted the English with 46 boundaries, at their own den.
The next triple centurian from Australia was, unmistakably, Donald Bradman again, who returned to the same ground (Leeds), 4 years later, reducing their chest-thumping lion-sized confidence into a lamb-sized presence on the ground. This time, he would strike a more watchful, less exuberant, more cautious 304, staying out to bat for 430 minutes, facing 473 deliveries.
It was as if batting for long hours was a subject, then Sir Don had already mastered it with flying grades. Although, Bob Simpson and Bob Cowper exhibited far more restraint and discipline in shot-selection when they took 762 minutes and 743 deliveries, and 727 minutes and 589 deliveries, respectively to reach their 311 and their 307, Simpson being the third-ever Aussie to score a Test triple, and Cowper, the fourth.
But Matthew Hayden, who scored the highest ever Test individual for an Australian, in his 380 when he went past Lara’s 375, did score his runs with more power and irrepressible flair than ever seen.
Different approaches and different styles
In some ways, David Warner’s 335 is a reflection and tribute to the Aussie flair; the art of scoring big runs easily. But while we mustn’t forget that Hayden’s big runs came gainst a miserably weak Zimbabwe as have David Warner’s 335 against an attack that lacks experience and as seen in his carefree sputtering of the red ball, even lacking some fight, one cannot deny that a triple hundred at the end of the day, is a triple hundred.
Greats like Hussey, Ponting, Mark and Steve Waugh haven’t touched the envious triple-hundred mark playing far more Tests than the occasionally-controversial, purely-passionate David Warner.
Yet, not paying homage to former captain Mark Taylor, who admirably and commendably stopped himself at 334, in a respect to Sir Don, abstaining from defeating a champion when he could’ve so easily gone past, despite facing Shoaib Akhtar would be paying a huge disservice to the institution that is Australian cricket.
The same way one must not forget to tip the hat to another former Australian captain Michael Clarke, who at a time of hammering and overpowering an attack featuring Zaheer, Ashwin, Ishant, and Umesh Yadav decided to stop even earlier than the Great Don, when he declared the inning with his score on 329.
Therefore, the Australian cricketing conduct, often rightly reviled for infamously offering liberal doses of lip-service should also be regarded for its ability to uphold the legacy of its own champions.
But in David Warner’s 335, a mark 1 better than Sir Don also offers a reflection of an important redemption. That David Warner found relevance and Perhaps newfound respect at the very same turf where he had lost in the past: the playing field.
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