It was not long ago that David Warner’s life seemed to be spiralling out of control. Many off-field controversies were threatening to plague his talented yet fledgling career. Now all of a sudden, he seems to be on the right path and the rewards are evident for everyone to see. Shrikant Shankar believes that Warner alone deserves praise for his revival and that this is how he should look to carry his career forward.
Before the 2013-14 Ashes series began, if you had asked anyone about what comes first in their minds when they think about David Warner, the answer would invariably be that he punched England‘s, Joe Root. A few would talk about his Twitter outburst against a few Australian journalists. But after three days of the third Test in Perth, if you asked the same question to the same people, the answers would vary slightly.
Some would still harp on about those incidents, but many more would talk about his scintillating form in the on-going Ashes series. To put it in plain terms — he has been simply brilliant. He has scored two centuries and two half-centuries in six innings. Warner is the current leading run-scorer in the series with 457 runs as of December 16, 2013. He is averaging a staggering 91.40 and scoring his runs at a ridiculous strike-rate of just under 76. He is not the same man whose Australian future was at risk.
Warner has been a joy to watch during the series and is taking the fight to England right from the beginning. He has that Virender Sehwag-like impact on Test matches. Before the opposition realises it, they are already chasing the match. When Sehwag entered the cricketing arena, he was not thought out to be a great batsman. But he turned out to be one of the greatest openers and batsmen of the modern age. Warner was seen as someone who was the right fit for a Twenty20 player.
It was Sehwag who told Warner that he could be a better Test batsman than a T20 one. And Sehwag’s words look increasingly better as each Test passes by in the current Ashes series. Many things can be attributed to Warner’s recent revival. He was sent back from the initial phase of the 2013 Ashes series after his bar brawl with Root. He has got a telling off by many past Australian cricketers like Mark Taylor. Nowadays though, his personal life seems to be more stable as his relationship with Australian iron-woman Candice Falzon keeps getting more media attention as the days pass by.
But more importantly, it is Warner who deserves the credit for his current form and confidence. The clichéd and age-old saying of “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” applies perfectly here. He might have had all those factors contributing to his success, but only he can apply it and use it. He also seems fitter, as there have been numerous reports that he has lost weight.
All these things add to the interesting tales of one David Warner. And to think of it, his biggest indiscretions have not even happened a year back. All of it has happened so quickly that it can be hard to believe for the people who have not watched it happen. He is going to play the way he is at the moment almost throughout his career. Now is the good times, so, the runs will flow. But there will be more testing times in the future and we will get to see how Warner copes with that. But for now, his career seems to have come a full circle.
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)
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