'Shush': Warner acquires immunity with statement ton
Veteran opener David Warner hammered a gritty 164 to silence the critics and steer Australia to 346 for five against an inconsistent Pakistan attack in the first Test at Perth yesterday.
In a stellar kick-off to his farewell Test series, the 37-year-old batted for much of day one before finally departing to Aamer Jamal, two balls after smashing the debutant for six.
En route to a near-flawless knock off 211 balls, where he smashed 16 fours and four sixes, Warner entered the top five run-getters for Australia in Test cricket, leapfrogging Matthew Hayden and Michael Clarke.
In the all-time list, he surpassed fellow swashbucklers Sir Viv Richards and Virender Sehwag.
In the lead-up, former Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson questioned whether Warner deserved a hero's farewell given his recent poor red-ball form and involvement in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal.
With his back against the wall in his 110th Test, Warner responded in typically swashbuckling fashion.
"People make comments, but you get one with it. You have to just go out there and score runs and today I did that," said Warner. "I don't feel any extra pressure, any other points I have to prove.
"If people are out to get you or make a headline out of your name, so be it. I can't worry about that, I've got to worry about what I do for the team."
After Pat Cummins won the toss and opted to bat, Warner took a confident single off his first ball in an opening over from Shaheen Shah Afridi that leaked 14 runs and never looked back.
His strike rate slowed after lunch as he moved towards a 26th Test ton, reaching three figures with an uppercut boundary off Jamal, celebrating with his trademark leap and putting his finger to his mouth.
"It was a nice, little quiet shush," Warner said of his celebration, referring to the criticism.