In the first Test at Perth yesterday, veteran opener David Warner smashed a gutsy 164 to silence the naysayers and lead Australia to 346 for five against an inconsistent Pakistan attack.
In a brilliant start to his final Test series, the 37-year-old batted for much of day one until being dismissed to Aamer Jamal two balls after hammering the rookie for six.
Warner moved into the top five run-getters for Australia in Test cricket, leapfrogging Matthew Hayden and Michael Clarke, with a near-flawless knock off 211 balls that included 16 fours and four sixes.
He surpassed fellow swashbucklers Sir Viv Richards and Virender Sehwag on the all-time list.
Former Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson questioned if Warner deserved a hero’s send-off considering his recent poor red-ball play and role in the 2018 ball-tampering incident in the build-up.
In his 110th Test, with his back to the wall, Warner reacted in classic swashbuckling form.
“People make remarks, but you get one in return.” “You just have to go out there and score runs, and I did that today,” Warner said. “I don’t feel any additional pressure, or any other points I need to prove.”
“It’s okay if people are out to get you or make a headline out of your name. I can’t be concerned with that; I have to be concerned with what I do for the team.”
Warner took a confident single off his first delivery in an opening over from Shaheen Shah Afridi that yielded 14 runs after Pat Cummins won the toss and chose to bat.
After lunch, his strike rate decreased as he approached his 26th Test century, reaching three figures with an uppercut boundary off Jamal, celebrating with his customary leap and putting his finger to his mouth.
“It was a nice, little quiet shush,” Warner added, alluding to the criticism.