To put David Warner’s scintillating century at the WACA yesterday into perspective, it took just 69 deliveries. A strike rate of 146%.
India’s best partnership was between VVS Laxman and Virat Kohli. Their 68-run stand took 155 deliveries. A strike rate of 44%.
Same day, same track, same conditions – India all out a listless 161, Australia in reply an explosive 0-149.
Little wonder Indian shoulders were slumped by stumps on the opening day of this third Test. Since Ed Cowan’s dismissal at the SCG in the second Test, the baggy green batsmen have amassed 1-770.
Ricky Ponting the only man out for 134, Michael Clarke unbeaten on 329, Mike Hussey likewise on 150, so too Warner on 104 and Cowan on 40 with 13 sundries.
Cowan was but a blip on the Australian run-scoring radar yesterday, Yet his 40 off 58 deliveries was no shabby performance, it was just not in the hunt with Warner teeing off so superbly in a chanceless knock that included 13 boundaries, and three massive sixes, on the big ground.
The WACA has now produced four of the seven fastest Test centuries of all-time:
* 56 deliveries – Sir Vivian Richards – West Indies against England at St Johns in 1986.
* 57 – Adam Gilchrist – Australia against England at the WACA in 2007.
* 67 – Jack Gregory – Australia against South Africa at Johannesburg in 1921.
* 69 – Shivnarine Chanderpaul – West Indies against Australia at Georgetown in 2003.
* 69 – David Warner at the WACA yesterday.
* 70 – Chris Gayle – West Indies against Australia at the WACA in 2009.
* 71 – Roy Fredericks – West Indies against Australia at the WACA in 1975.
As well as both Warner and Cowan batted yesterday, the Australian pace attack continued as they have all summer, wreaking havoc.
In the two Tests against New Zealand, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, and Mike Hussey between them captured 30 of the 40 wickets to fall.
Offie Nathan Lyon the other 10.
In the five innings so far against India, adding Ben Hilfenhaus and Ryan Harris to the list, and the quicks have taken 47 of the 50 wickets to fall.
Lyon’s taken two, Clarke one.
A totally dominating pace attack. There’s no better, nor effective, way to stay in command when the name of the game is to take 20 opposition wickets to win.
Only two other eras come to mind.
Expressmen Dennis Lillee, and Jeff Thomson, with the tangle-footed Max Walker, and the silky left-armer Gary Gilmour wrought their own pace havoc in the 70s.
But in the same era offie Ashley Mallett, with leggies Terry Jenner, and Kerry O’Keeffe, took their fair share of wickets as well.
The attack of the 1948 Invincibles to England would give the current pacemen a run for results.
And what an attack – Ray Lindwall, Keith Miller, Bill Johnstone, Ernie Toshack, and Sam Loxton earned the pacemen 81 of the 89 England wickets to fall in the five-Test series.
While offie Ian Johnson captured seven, and leggie Doug Ring one.
The current crop will never reach Invincible status. But they are making the last two remaining Invincibles – Arthur Morris, and Neil Harvey – very proud of the cricket they are playing this summer.