Redemption by the ton

Deed done, David Warner said he had thought he might never get the chance to make a century for Australia again. Note how he framed the thought. It wasnt that he might not play for Australia again, but that he might not make another hundred.

After Cape Town, there was a school in the corridors of power that held that Warners file should be closed for good. Of the villainous three, he was the most culpable and the least cuddly. He could be made an example. At the very least, it was decreed that he would never hold a position of executive power in an Australian team again.

Warner is volatile, and no one really knew what to expect. What happened was that he bit his tongue and took the bit in his teeth. It was a lot to chew. But Warners anti-authoritarian streak has worked to his good and Australias before. In 2011, before he had played a Test match, he vowed that he would confound Cricket Australias plan to make him the pin-up boy for Twenty20 cricket. He would be a Test cricketer, be damned. And a formidable Test cricketer he became.

David Warner on his way back from the wilderness.

David Warner on his way back from the wilderness.Credit:PA

In most places, money talks. In cricket, runs and wickets do. Once the shock of his suspension passed, Warner set about making runs, silently as in an old movie. You could just about graph it: less words, more runs. He made runs in Sydney club cricket, in sundry T20 competitions as far afield as Canada, in the Indian Premier League, where he was the leading run-maker, in practice matches. As best can be computed, he made nearly 2000 runs while not officially playing.


Now Warner is back in the Australian team, in the biggest tournament of all, making more runs, leading all comers except one. As an opener, he will get many more run-making chances. The more runs Warner scores, the more they look like Warner runs. In his first couple of innings, he was on his own admission timid, but against Pakistan in Taunton, he was nearer to his brash old self. At a certain point, the century he wondered if he would ever get to make became inevitable.

Last summer, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft both submitted to urgings to speak up about Cape Town. Warner, the mouthiest, stayed mum. It was assumed that he was holding out for, or had signed, a big-money deal, but no. Perhaps it was the contrarian in him. Perhaps he saw how little good it did the other two. Perhaps he thought he was on a hiding to nothing, that whatever he said would be seen as making excuses.

Or perhaps it is simply that it is not within Warner to mount a charm offensive. Instead, he is mounting a run offensive. This, after all, is cricket, not geopolitics. Here, runs are their own charm, and his are beginning to win the cricket world over. Not everyone, not everywhere, but bit at a time, bite by bite.

At the Oval, Virat Kohli, an old antagonist, pleaded for less booing of Warner and Smith by Indians. In Taunton, from all accounts, the Pakistani crowd booed Warner minimally, applauded boundaries and gave him a generous ovation at 100. Time on one axis, runs on the other, all working towards healing. It ought to be more complicated than that, but it's not. Turns out he wasn&#039Read More – Source

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