Explosive opening batsman from Australia, David Warner is in prolific form this year, in Tests, ODIs and T20s. He continued that rich form in the ongoing Test series against Pakistan, when he notched up his 17th century in Test cricket, scoring a run-a-ball 144 runs, leading Australia’s reply to Pakistan’s 443/9, in the 2nd Test at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground). He achieved this feat in 113 balls thereby breaking the hoodoo of not having a single century to his name at the big MCG. Before today, he averaged 35.52 in Tests in 2016, with just a single hundred from 18 innings. This was his worst Test year.
Nevertheless, things are bright for the attacking left-hander as he has been among runs in the limited overs formats. This year, Warner set a new Australian record for most ODI centuries in a calendar year, surpassing the great Ricky Ponting and ferocious opener Matthew Hayden, when he recently scored a fine119 in the 2nd ODI of the Chappel-Hadlee ODI series against New Zealand. This innings was his 6th ODI ton this year.
During their heyday, Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar hit an incredible nine ODI centuries from 34 matches in 1998, while team-mate Sourav Ganguly hit seven centuries in 2000, which came from 32 matches. With this century Warner, now sits joint third on the all-time list alongwith Gary Kirsten (RSA), Sachin Tendulkar (IND) and Rahul Dravid (IND). Interestingly, he achieved this in just 22 matches.
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Among others, India’s batting mainstay Virat Kohli continued his rich form in all formats, as he became the first-ever cricketer to average above 50 in all the formats and leading the runs-tally also. Virat has galloped 739 runs in 10 ODIs this year at a mercurial avg. of 92.37. On the other hand, Warner has mustered 1042 runs in 17 ODIs at an avg. of 70.8. While in T20s, Virat is far ahead than Warner, as he has 641 runs in 15 T20s at a brilliant avg. of 106.83, with 7 fifties to his name, highest being 90* against Australia. On the other hand, Warner has only 238 runs in 10 T20s at an avg of 24.
These contrasting differences in all the formats is evident as India played more Test cricket than Australia and Virat clearly aggregates better than Warner. In Tests, especially, Virat has improved his avg. from 44 to 50, as he became the first-ever Indian to score three double centuries in a calendar year; all of them as captain. However, Australian captain Steve Smith has better avg. (58) than his Indian counterpart.
Virat Kohli and David Warner single-handedly took their respective IPL teams Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) to this year’s final. While, Virat outclassed Warner in the batting department – getting more runs with a better avg. and hitting the max. sixes; these facts didn’t pleased Virat as his side lost to Warner’s in the summit clash by 8 runs. The Australian was praised highly for his captaincy and man-management skills as SRH had lesser-known stars as compared to RCB.
Interestingly, Virat Kohli has been named the ODI team’s captain of the year by both the ICC and Cricket Australia this year!