Adelaide, Dec 2: After becoming Test cricket's latest triple centurion, David Warner recalled Virender Sehwag’s prophecy, years ago, claiming that Warner would make for a better Test batsman than a T20 player.
Warner, who slammed a career best 335 not out against Pakistan in the ongoing Adelaide Test, reminisced what transpired during a chat with Sehwag during their time together at Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League, when Warner was yet to properly find his feet in international cricket.
"I had the luxury of coming through and being that person thrown out there – a little bit out of a testing guinea pig," Warner said about the early part of his career, when he was yet to permanently claim a role in the team. Few would have expected him to ace the red ball during his early days, given his relentless approach of scoring quick and attacking the opposition. Initially touted as a short-form specialist, Warner earned his Test cap in late 2011, close to three years after making his white-ball debut for Australia.
In 2009, he was signed up by Delhi for the second season of the IPL, and worked extensively with Sehwag, who was the captain of the franchise, an ICC report said. “When I got the opportunity to play for Delhi in the IPL and I met Virender Sehwag there, he sat me down. 'He said I will be a better Test player than Twenty20 player. And I said to him, 'you're out of your mind’." In only his fourth innings, against New Zealand, Warner smashed an unbeaten 123, and has since notched up 23 Test tons, and has scored just a shade under 7000 runs. With his maiden Test triple, Warner joined elite company: it was the fourth-fastest Test triple ton, and the second highest score by an Australian ever, edging past Don Bradman and Mark Taylor’s career-best 334.
"It just sunk into me that it's very rare you get these opportunities," Warner added. "Given there was still a lot of time left in the game, and you look up at the scoreboard and there was another 71 overs to go, and I was on 250-odd, and I thought, 'This is probably a chance I'm never gonna get again'. Warner shrugged off a torrid Ashes series, where he averaged 9.50, to score back-to-back 150+ scores against Pakistan, within the space of three months. With each passing failure, there was increased scrutiny on him, but Warner insisted that he kept backing himself to come good.
"I'm a very confident person, whether or not I scored those runs or didn't score my runs, I hold my head up high and have that little smirk on my face that I always have," he added. (UNI)