Pressure on David Warner is continuing to mount after a first-ball duck in the first Test against South Africa at the Gabba.
Warner faced the new ball against Proteas quick Kagiso Rabada, who sent a well-directed short ball towards Warner’s ribs.
He succeeded only in fending the ball to Khaya Zondo, who took a brilliant catch at short leg.
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“A good short one, David Warner just took his eye off the ball (and) got it high on the bat,” Mark Waugh said in commentary for Fox Cricket.
“Nothing’s gone David Warner’s way – he keeps making mistakes and keeps paying a high price.”
Warner hasn’t scored a century since the start of the pandemic, with January 2020 being the last time he tonned up.
Since the start of the last Ashes, Warner has averaged just 21.8.
He’s also 36, and Australia’s next two international tours – an Ashes series in England and a tour of India – are not places he’s traditionally done well at.
Assuming he’s picked, Warner will play his 100th test at the MCG next week.
Former Test captain Ricky Ponting said he wouldn’t put it past Warner to score a hundred in that match and shush the naysayers.
“He is a champion player – you never write off champion players ever,” Ponting said on Channel 7.
“He is going through a lean trot now – we all want to see him scoring runs.
“When he finishes, he deserves to go out on his term. He has been a magnificent stalwart for Australian cricket.”
Ponting said Warner would have been disappointed to have not made big scores against the West Indies, but he deserved the chance to go out on his own accord.
”That is the most disappointing thing for David. He got those 20s, and got the starts against the West Indies and didn’t go on when everyone else at the top made the most of a weak West Indian side.
“He deserves the chance to finish the way he wants to finish. I would hate to see him get to an Indian tour or at the start of the Ashes tour and then get the tap on the shoulder.
“That would be a disappointing way for his career to end.”
Despite an early collapse to start Australia’s innings, a strong 117-run partnership between Steve Smith and Travis Head offered a reprisal.
With two late wickets on the verge of stumps, the Aussies will resume batting on day two on 5-145. They trail by seven runs after South Africa set a score of 152 earlier in the day.
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