As David Warner tapped his bat and gazed down the wicket, steeling himself for the primary ball of the Nagpur Check, the veteran knew few possibilities to overturn his grim India document awaited him.
The begin to his innings was about as snug because it will get for a touring opener in India; after watching a Mohammed Shami loosener fly a few paces away from off stump, he fended the ball off his again foot and scurried via for a single.
Warner was off the mark and off strike.
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However 13 balls into Australia’s first dig, he was trapped on the crease as his off stump was ripped from the bottom.
Supplied George Bailey and firm retain the 36-year-old for the following three Checks, permitting a champion to sail into retirement on his personal phrases, he can cling to a number of extra possibilities to resuscitate his India legacy.
However whatever the fortune or misfortune which will lie forward, his window of alternative is closing at a drastic velocity.
After being castled for 1 as Shami charged in from across the wicket, Warner’s Check common on Indian soil is 22.88.
Shami hadn’t dismissed Warner in Check cricket earlier than Thursday. In India, the left-hander has fallen sufferer to Ravichandran Ashwin greater than all different bowlers, dropping his wicket to the masterly off-spinner on 5 events. He is additionally been scalped by Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar on Indian pitches.
These dismissals span excursions in 2013 and 2017, received by India 4-Zero and 2-1 respectively, and the primary innings of the continuing Check in Nagpur.
By prolific numbers and spellbinding knocks, Warner has elevated himself to greatness.
Solely six Australians have posted extra Check runs than Warner’s 8133, and simply seven have notched extra centuries.
His 69-ball ton on the WACA was a magnificence, as was his first-day century earlier than lunch. There was his unbeaten 335, and extra lately maybe a career-saving double century on the MCG.
He is additionally considered one of simply 14 Australians with 100 or extra Checks beside their identify.
Not unhealthy for anybody, particularly a bloke vaulted into Australian colors and not using a first-class sport within the bag, and virtually universally pigeon-holed as a short-form slogger.
However Warner’s Check output in India stands in stark distinction to his heroics in Australia. Each one of many aforementioned innings — arguably the best knocks of his Check profession — have been carved out on Australian decks, and his common of 22.88 in India is dwarfed by his dwelling common of 58.39.
Like Warner, damaging opening predecessor Matthew Hayden dominated bowling assaults on Australian pitches, averaging 57.88. However not like Warner, the barrel-chested Queenslander thrived in India, averaging 51.35.
Relying closely on a lofted straight drive and quite a lot of sweep pictures, Hayden plundered 549 runs, together with knocks of 203, 119 and 97, for a median of 109.eight on Australia’s tour of India in 2001.
A 1999 camp in Chennai beneath the skilled eyes of Indian spinning icons Bishen Bedi and Erapalli Prasanna had sewn the seed for Hayden’s success on that tour.
Hayden, Allan Border, Dean Jones, Michael Clarke and Steve Smith are among the many Australian greats famend for starring at dwelling and in India — a rustic wherein careers are largely outlined.
Australia’s second dig in Nagpur, and probably the next three Checks, will purchase Warner extra time to beat his struggles in India — a blight on a superlative profession.
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