David Warner © Getty Images
David Warner scored  133 runs from 174 balls during Australia’s first innings in the first Test against Pakistan at Dubai © Getty Images

David Warner’s glorious run of form and feisty style of batting has been one reason for Australia prosperity in the recent past. He, however, was struggling to hold down a place in the team not very long ago. Indrajit Dutta sheds light on Warner’s resurgence.

Australia‘s David Warner has turned the corner. A year earlier he was suspended for his involvement in a brawl with an opposition player, that too an Englishman. On Friday with his hundred against Pakistan, he became the seventh Australian batsman to score three hundreds in three consecutive innings and thereby entered an elite club comprising of members such as Sir Donald Bradman and Adam Gilchrist.

In his last nine Tests, the belligerent opener has shone like a beacon. He has added six hundreds, including the one against Pakistan, to his name. Three of those came against South Africa’s Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel in the intensely contested series in March, which the Aussies won. At present, he is one of the lynchpins of the Australian batting line-up in every format.

In 2013 it was, however, a different tale altogether. Warner was looked upon as something of an enfant terrible. He was said to be involved in an alleged punch-up with Joe Root, the England batsman, in a bar. As a result, Warner was suspended for two Ashes Tests in England and a One-Day game during the Champions Trophy. Earlier in 2013, he was fined after a squabble on Twitter with Australian journalist Malcolm Conn. To make matters worse, his form during the India and England tours had been absymal, an average of 23 justifying the point.

This season Warner’s form has been nothing short of exemplary. Since his second innings 112 against archrivals England at Perth in the third Test, the southpaw has gone from strength to strength. His last eight matches before the ongoing game against Pakistan have brought him 1066 runs at an average of 71. It is that knock at Perth which sparked off a rich vein of form that continues.

Australia owes a lot of its recent stability and successes in Test cricket to Warner. His aggressive style of batsmanship hits the opposition hard. Ironically Virender Sehwag, the maverick and destructive Indian opener, had once said Warner would become a better Test batsman than a T20 one. One batsman whom Warner would have made proud is the famed opener Matthew Hayden, the burly Aussie who instilled fear into many bowling attacks with his dominating presence.

In South Africa it was Warner who had dented the confidence of Steyn and Morkel. His twin hundreds in the deciding Test was instrumental in Australia registering a memorable series victory against old foes, the Proteas. In both innings, he came out all guns blazing pushing the South Africans on the backfoot. Another time when Warner took the wind out of the sails of the bowlers was during his 180 against India at Perth in 2012. He bludgeoned 100 off these in one session. It is knocks like these that make him a batsman to fear.

The hundred against Pakistan was his first in sub-continent like conditions, furthermore it came when the rest of the batting line-up struggled. The knock shows that Warner has the ability to to do well in conditions in alien to him, a far cry from the struggles faced in England in 2013 against Anderson and company.

Warner would hope his newly found consistency continues for as long as it can. Till the time it does, there’s no doubt that opposition bowlers will suffer, leaving his team and fans happy.

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(Indrajit Dutta is a reporter with CricketCountry. He is also a published poet and author. His Twitter handle is @duttaindro)