Unless Jimmy Anderson bobs up in the Zimbabwe side, Warner scoring runs won't count for anything - Allan Border
Cricket Australia's decision to send the wayward left-hander on an African safari (to get some time in the middle) defied logic/belief beyond imagination. [Warner was suspended and then sacked from the team for punching England's Joe Root in a Birmingham pub before the first Ashes Test.]
If the management wanted him to get some time in the middle, Warner should have stayed back in England and faced the likes of James Anyon, Monty Panesar and Steve Magoffin in their practice match against Sussex. Or for that matter, even the Australian pacemen in the nets, but in England. However, Darren Lehmann and co felt Warner's cause would be better served facing Kyle Abbott, Beuran Hendricks, Kyle Jarvis and others during Australia A's tour of Africa - conditions that are vast different from those on offer in England.
And the 26-year-old proved them right by hammering 193 for Australia A against their South African counterparts after failing against Zimbabwe Select XI in their first tour game.
This is exactly why former Australia captain Allan Border was left bemused at the decision to send Warner to Africa. "The standard of bowling he will face in Africa and the conditions will be chalk and cheese to the challenges that await him in England," Border said earlier. Well, that's a moot point now, is it not?
The Australian team, trailing 2-0 in the five-match series, could do with a character like Warner but not at No.6. Batsmen like Warner and Virender Sehwag, if they are in the playing XI, should only open the innings.
Players like Warner, Kevin Petersen or Virat Kohli can/may not steer away from controversy but they play with heart where it matters - on the field. They give their 101 per cent on the field and yearn for more whether they are batting, bowling or fielding. When he puts his mind to it, Warner is a very scary proposition. His technique, hand-eye coordination and reflexes [not temperament] is far better than Cricket Australia gives him credit for.
The experiment with Phillip Hughes at No.6 has failed. He is a kind of batsman who will get you runs [grind out an ugly innings if needed] on perfect wickets but against the likes of Graeme Swann he is just a sitting duck. So, if you can't have Warner opening for you [for some god-forsaken reasons], he is then best utilised at No.3 but definitely not five down, where Lehmann intends to use him.
Warner, however won't mind batting even at No.7 as long as he gets to play, now.
Warner's potent innings at Pretoria will definitely put pressure on Chris Rogers, Phil Hughes and Steven Smith to score some runs in the tour match against Sussex at Hove after three successive failures each.
He can't return former Australia coach Mickey Arthur back his job but can only try to force his way back for the third Test at Old Trafford and earn back the respect of the dressing room - who supported him through his off-field dramas. And with the current top-order struggling woefully against the likes of Jimmy Anderson and Swann, the 'daddy' hundred places Davey right back in contention for an Ashes place.
Warner might just be the positive news on the batting front after persistent top-order and middle-order collapses in the series. Australia's highest score in the ongoing Ashes series so far is the 98 that No.11 Ashton Agar made on debut at Trent Bridge. Nuff said!
The third Test starts at Manchester next week and Warner should come in either at one-drop or as an opening batsman after impressing at No.4 in Pretoria. Since making his debut in 2011, the pocket dynamo has played Test matches against New Zealand, India, West Indies, South Africa and Sri Lanka. He is yet to get a game against England, maybe that's all Australia need to get out of the pits.
Australia has only once bounced back from a two-nil deficit to win a five-Test Ashes series - in 1936-7 when one Donald Bradman plundered 810 runs in the series. Can they do it again?
Note: It was not long time ago when James Sutherland and co earmarked David as a possible future captain. Then was the time when Cricket Australia could do no wrong. Right now, they are in shambles. From homework-gate to Twitter rants to Mickey Arthur's ugly departure - things couldn't have gone more wrong for the cricket board in the past year. Don Argus saw it coming when he presented his report into the state of Australian cricket in 2011.