Wonderful Warner completes Aussie set
Opening batsman hits first MCG hundred to boast three-figure Test scores on big six home venues
Martin Smith at the MCG
28 December 2016, 04:40 PM AEST
David Warner ticked off two significant milestones in notching his 17th Test century during the second Test at the MCG, and also ended what had previously been his least productive year in Test cricket on a high note.
Warner's hundred against Pakistan on Wednesday was his first since the opening Test of 2016, ending a streak of nine Tests and 17 innings without a three-figure score, although he did top score with 97 against South Africa in Perth last month - the first time he has been dismissed in the 90s in Tests.
Quick Single: Australia v Pakistan - day three report
Not only did Warner's 113-ball ton move Australia out of a potentially fraught position in this match, it also completed the full set for the left-hander, who has now scored a Test century at every major Australian venue.
And along the way, he became the sixth-fastest Australian to score 5000 runs in his career, reaching the milestone in his 109th Test innings.
While that's one innings faster than former skipper Ricky Ponting, it's an incredible 53 more than it took Sir Donald Bradman, who reached the 5000-run mark in just 56 innings.
Nevertheless, it's a significant achievement for the one-time T20 specialist, whose transformation into one of the best Test openers in the world has been lauded by former teammate, Michael Hussey.
Quick Single: Nicholas suffers a second health scare
"I just think everyone has been, not surprised, but marvelled really in the way that he's learnt so quickly," Hussey told cricket.com.au, having himself reached 5000 career runs in 107 innings.
"When he first started, and it seems like just a few years ago, he was just a T20 basher of the ball. And he was very good at it, but he's been able to learn quickly about how to transform his technique to be a good Test player.
"Even when he had off-field problems, he was smart enough and quick enough to learn what he needed to do to have consistent success on the field.
"You've got to take your hat off to him (for) the way he's improved his game so much but also improved his lifestyle off the field as well. He's figured out what you need to do to have success at the top level.
"Now you're really seeing the rewards of that – he's doing it on such a consistent basis."
Warner had shrugged off questions about his relatively lean run of form in the lead-up to this match, as he had his career record at the MCG, where his previous highest score from five Tests was 62.
The 30-year-old, whose below-par year of Test cricket has come during a record-breaking 2016 in the one-day game, said he found adapting from one form of the game to the next one of the most challenging aspects of being a professional cricketer.
But Hussey believes Warner's ability to translate his T20 slogging ability into the Test arena is almost unprecedented in the modern game.
Quick Single: Hazlewood could break my record: McGrath
Warner's international debut famously came in a T20 match at this very venue in 2009, before he'd even played his maiden first-class match, and the 13 boundaries he struck on his way to three figures today shows that the spirit of that T20 slogger still burns inside the polished, composed Test opener.
Hussey added that Warner's style of play meant comparisons with former opener Matthew Hayden were almost inevitable, although he's reserved his own judgement on the pair until the end of Warner's career.
"If David continues his career in the same way, by the end I'm sure we'll be comparing those two side by side as great players for Australia," Hussey said of Hayden.
"I've always been a believer that the very, very good players have the ability to adapt between the three formats seamlessly.
"And I also believe that the top Test players make the transition to T20 cricket better than the other players can, whereas T20 players will find it harder to make the transition to be really good Test players.
"And that's where Warner stands out; he started as a T20 player but has been able to turn himself into a great Test player as well.
"The other top batsmen were all gun Test players at first and have adapted their T20 games as they've gone along, maybe with the exception of AB de Villiers, who just seems to have always been exceptional across the board."
Fastest Australians to 5000 Test runs
56 innings - Sir Donald Bradman
95 innings - Matthew Hayden
105 innings - Neil Harvey
106 innings - Greg Chappell
107 innings - Michael Hussey
109 innings - David Warner
110 innings - Ricky Ponting
International cricket is more affordable than ever this summer, with adult tickets from $30, kids from $10 and family packages from $65 across every day of international cricket. Price for purchase at match. Transaction fee from $6.95 applies to online and other purchases. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.