By David Green
Four of the seven quickest hundreds in Test history have come at the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA -or should it now be renamed the Whacker?!) – three of these have been scored by opening batsmen and indeed are the three quickest hundreds ever scored by openers in Test history.
The first of the three scored by Roy Fredericks against a fearsome Australian attack including Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson, but would recommend reading this wonderful recollection by The Guardian’s Andy Bull of a remarkably courageous innings from the batsman they called Kid Cement.
Fredericks reached his hundred in 71 balls, a feat bettered by one ball by Chris Gayle in 2009 (in the days before he became a full-time T20 mercenary) in an innings that Nathan Hauritz, in particular, still probably hasn’t recovered from the spanking administered to him.
India must be feeling pretty dispirited having been blasted out for just 161 in a series that they are already 0-2 down in. But nothing could have prepared them for the slaughter that David Warner had in store for them.
Whilst all the Indian bowlers are probably organising one-way tickets - are there any other? - to Switzerland for an appointment with Dignitas after a shocking performance, nothing should be taken away from Warner’s gun-slinging performance.
He didn’t give a chance, carted all of the four-man Indian pace attack around the park, smashed Vinay Kumar’s fourth ball in Test cricket back over his head for six and reached his hundred in the most appropriate fashion by hitting another monstrous six off the same unfortunate debutant, whose retirement from Test cricket probably cannot come soon enough.
As a result Warner beat Gayle’s mark by one ball to join Shivnarine Chanderpaul - who must have left his pet crab at home on that particular day - as the joint-fourth fastest century maker in Test history.
In his first five Tests, Warner has now become only the sixth batsmen ever to carry his bat in the fourth innings of a Test as well as scoring the quickest hundred ever by an opener in Test history, which makes our initial assessment that Warner wouldn’t cut the mustard in the long form of the game look pretty foolish.
But not as foolish as an Indian side who have now let Australia rack up 771 for one since reducing them to 37 for three3 in Sydney with partnerships of 288, 334* and now 149*. Duncan Fletcher who has lost his last 11 overseas Tests as coach of England and now India is staring down the barrel once again.
(David Green is the brain behind the irreverent The Reverse Sweep blog and also writes for a number of cricket publications and sites such as World Cricket Watch. You can follow him on Twitter also@TheReverseSweep. David was a decent schoolboy and club cricketer (and scored his maiden 100 the same week that Sachin Tendulkar scored his first Test ton) but not good enough to fulfill his childhood dream of emulating Douglas Jardine by winning the Ashes in Australia and annoying the locals into the bargain. He now lives with his wife and two young children in the South of France and will one day write the definitive biography of Hedley Verity)