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Warner marches into top echelon

Opener joins elite batting company in typically exhilarating fashion at the WACA

If David Warner's batting wasn't so exhilarating to watch, his inexorable march into the top echelon of Test batsmen might almost be deemed passé.

A third Test hundred in his third Test innings of the summer had the scribes rewriting the record books, the WACA crowd captivated, and New Zealand thoroughly demoralised.

His 15th Test century in his 45th Test puts him in the most elite batting company; only Don Bradman (26), Sunil Gavaskar (19) and Herb Sutcliffe (16) had more at the same point in their careers.

As does his 4000th run in his 84th innings; the fourth-fastest among Australians, behind Bradman (48), Matthew Hayden (77) and Neil Harvey (80).

Quick single: The WACA Test by the numbers

And up until just last year, Adam Gilchrist was the only man in Baggy Green to have scored three consecutive Test hundreds in the past 60 years.

Now Warner has done it twice in 13 months.

Serious numbers from a batsman who once threatened to never be taken seriously. 

In the first Test wash-up in Brisbane, Brendon McCullum reflected that his side had been "bossed" on day one, with Warner chief bully in compiling a measured (by his standards) 163.

In Perth, under a baking sun on day one of this second Test, it was Groundhog Day.

Watch: First Session: Warner's fine form continues

Despite his buffet in Brisbane, Warner batted like a man who had endured a run-scoring famine, blazing Trent Boult for boundaries from the first two deliveries he faced.

Benefiting from a friendly pitch and in complete command of this Black Caps bowling group, Warner alternated between finding the fence and picking off the singles.

At one point he hit scoring shots from seven straight deliveries as McCullum spread the field, conceding the opening batsman was very much in the ascendancy.

The obligatory half-century arrived from 56 balls – his ninth score of 50-plus in his past eight Tests. 

All this before lunch. On day one. Of a Test match.

New Zealand must be wondering what they've done to offend their trans-Tasman rival.

In 2011, Warner carried his bat with a second-innings century in a losing cause in Hobart.

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He now has four straight hundreds against the Kiwis, and McCullum and his men look no closer to finding a means of plugging the hole.

In any case, the dam has already burst.

Mark Craig knows it all too well.

Craig, who was tormented in Brisbane in going for more than five runs an over, was greeted by the sight of Warner, well set on 61, and clearly eager to have his way with the off-spinner once again.

Three fours came from the first four balls he bowled; the first a heave over midwicket, and the next two delicately tickled through third man.

His straight driving was something to behold. Tim Southee bore the brunt of them, helpless as the ball flew past him in his follow-through and rattled into the sightscreen.

Mid-on and mid-off were in place, but neither stood a chance as the Kaboom dictated terms.

His Test batting average went past 50, and moments later, perhaps as a reminder of his mortality, Trent Boult got one to duck in slightly and beat the bat.

A desperate appeal followed – rarely can a team have been more eager to see the back of one batsman – but the umpire declined the offering.

Watch: Warner's huge slice of luck 

McCullum likely felt he had little option but to review, only to find the ball hitting the stumps, but under the rather peculiar laws of the Decision Review System, it wasn't enough.

Warner survived, prospered, and continued on his merry way, grinding New Zealand into the ground and, in the process, continuing to raise himself above the vast majority of batsmen to have ever played the game. 

The Inner Circle: Warner's WACA ton

EXCLUSIVE: David Warner looks back on one of the most devastating Test knocks ever seen in Australia. Remember, eligible Optus customers are entitled to a free Live Pass to stream cricket from cricket.com.au (Australia only)! Learn more HERE: http://optus.com.au/cricket

Posted by Optus Sport on Wednesday, November 11, 2015