Melbourne [Australia]: Australian veteran opener David Warner on Tuesday ended a Test century drought that lasted for almost three years, smashing a historic ton in his 100th match in the longer format at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Much to the delight of Australian and millions of fans that adore him worldwide, Warner got to raise his bat in white clothing for the first time since 2020 in the second Test against South Africa.
Prior to this, Warner’s previous century was back on January 3, 2020, when he smashed 111* against New Zealand.
After that, he struggled for consistency for the next two years. He ended 2021 with 307 runs in eight innings across five Tests at an average of 38.37, with two half-centuries and the best score of 95.
His 2022 numbers got even leaner. Prior to this MCG Test, Warner had scored only 371 runs in 10 Tests at a poor average of 20.61, with two half-centuries.
In the 45th over of Australia’s first innings bowled by a dangerous Kagiso Rabada, Warner pulled the first delivery of the over to the fine leg for four runs to bring his score to three figures in whites for the first time in almost three years. And indeed it was a special day to break the century drought, in his 100th match in the longer format.
He is also the only second Australian to hit a century in his 100th Test after Ricky Ponting slammed twin tons (120 and 143*) against South Africa back in 2006, which was his 100th Test.
Warner also has the second-highest amount of international cricket centuries among active players. Star Indian batter Virat Kohli tops this list with 72 tons and Warner is at second with 45. England’s Root is at third with 44 centuries while Rohit Sharma and Steve Smith are tied at 41 centuries each.
Warner has also registered the highest amount of centuries by an opener, with total of 45 centuries. He has 20 centuries in ODIs and 25 in the longer formats. Legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar is tied with 45 centuries, he has hit 45 of his 100 centuries as an opener. Legendary West Indies batter Chris Gayle also has all of his 42 international centuries scored as an opener.
Coming to the match, Australia’s first innings is currently in progress and they have a slender lead over South Africa.
Earlier, put to bat first by Australia, South Africa was bundled out for 189 runs. After the Proteas were down at 67/5, wicketkeeper-batter Kyle Verreynne (52) and Marco Jansen (59) put on a 112-run partnership to stabilise the innings.