ANI Photo | “No better way to silence critics…”: Warner on starting farewell Test series with century against Pakistan

With a century to start his farewell Test series, Australian opening batter David Warner has said that there is no better way to silence the critics than posting runs on the board.
Warner kicked off his Test swansong in style with a belligerent century, putting the hosts in a commanding position at 346/5 at the stumps on the first day of the opening Test against Pakistan in Perth on Thursday.
“It is my job to come here and score runs. It was good to get a couple of partnerships, first with Uzzie (Khawaja) and then with Smudge (Steve Smith). (On his century) It does feel great, it is about putting runs on the board for the bowlers. No better way to silence the critics than by putting runs on the board,” said Warner after his innings.
The explosive Aussie opener smashed a 164 in 211 balls, with 16 fours and four sixes. His runs came at a strike rate of 77.72. Warner was under immense criticism and pressure heading into the match due to his recent form. Even the Australia pace great and ex-teammate Mitchell Johnson had a public spat with Warner, questioning that how he could decide his own retirement date despite his underwhelming form. Johnson’s attack against Warner attracted a lot of responses from current and old Aussie cricketers, mostly in favour of the opener.
During one of his best innings, as he was playing under massive pressure to perform following underwhelming Test returns for the past two years, Warner entered the top five run-getters for Australia in Test cricket, leapfrogging Matthew Hayden (8,625 runs) and Michael Clarke (8,643 runs).
In the all-time list, his big hundred helped him surpass fellow swashbucklers Sir Viv Richards (8,540 runs) and Virender Sehwag (8,586 runs).
Warner now stands fifth among Australia’s highest Test run-getters with 8,651 runs at an average of 45.05, with 26 centuries and 36 fifties, trailing only Steve Smith (9,351 runs), Steve Waugh (10,927 runs), Allan Border (11,174 runs) and Ricky Ponting (13,378 runs).
Warner continues his brilliant form against Pakistan at home. In eight Test innings against the Asian side at home, he has scored 1,009 runs at an average of 144.14, with five centuries. His best score is 335*. Overall in 11 Tests against Pakistan, Warner has scored 1,417 runs at an average of 88.56, with six centuries and four fifties in 17 innings.
Coming to the match, Australia opted to bat first. Warner combined with Usman Khawaja (41 in 98 balls, with six fours) to have a 126-run opening partnership. The left-hander later went on to have valuable partnerships with Steve Smith (31 in 60 balls, with four boundaries) and Travis Head (40 in 53 balls, with six fours) to guide the Aussies to 346/5 at the end of day one.
Aamer Jamal (2/63) was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan, while Shaheen Shah Afridi, Faheem Ashraf, Khurram Shahzad took a wicket each. (ANI)

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