Just when you thought we might get some breathing room, another one comes off the production line. Australia’s opening stocks finally looked a little thin, after over a decade of merrily smashing the shit out of every bowler put in front of them. Then this kid David Warner goes out and blasts 89 off 43 balls in a Twenty20 against South Africa.
He brought up his 50 in a fairly memorable way too, hitting Dale Steyn, probably the best bowler in the world right now, for consecutive sixes off the first two balls he faced from the South African tearaway. The half century took him 19 balls. His first international innings. 22 years old. 89 runs. Off 43 balls. Six sixes. The numbers will break your heart.
His shots were madly audacious too, cranking Ntini bouncers over the boundary, and paddling Steyn (Steyn!) for six (six!) with the first ball of his he faced. How does that happen? A young kid, considered lucky to be picked at all, facing the most feared bowler in the world right now… At what point does his mental processing malfunction enough for that to become an option?
Sounds like the guy’s kinda mad anyway, trying out a double-sided bat, so he doesn’t have to do that annoying switching-hands thing when reverse-sweeping into the stands. So it looks like Australia have found their Jesse Ryder. Only he’s younger, more fearless and scores quicker.
The only faint glimmer of hope for the rest of world cricket is contained in this profile of the brothers in The Age. It describes older brother Steve Warner, who plays in the second team for their Eastern Suburbs club, as “hard-hitting and hard-living”. Just like our Jesse.
If the genes for both elements have carried down into the prodigal younger son then we might get the occasional moment of respite. If not, we’re all doomed.
PS – If anyone missed the classic mid-’90s t-shirt reference in the title, here’s what you’re missing out on. Immaculately modeled too.