There were question marks. There was hesitance. There was also a certain degree of curiosity as well. David Warner was back to playing competitive cricket already in all these T20 leagues around the world but how he was going to fare on probably a stage as big as international cricket was a question not many had an answer to. This was, in essence, David Warner’s comeback to world cricket.
And the setting, playing at Eden Garden against the home team. The stage was set for David Warner to start his comeback. And what a comeback it was. Dominating the opposition with a 53 ball 83 was something that the world had got used to from the swashbuckling all-rounder and he didn’t disappoint. It never looked like he was gone. It doesn’t look like he has skipped a beat. Warner looked the same stocky, athletic powerful opening batsman that the world fears.
He has always been a Villain in the eyes of the opposition and the opposition crowd, be it when he donned the Australian colors or even when he represented in other T20 leagues, and here he was, yet again wiping the smiles off the opposition’s face and even the opposition crowd couldn’t help but cheer him on despite being on the receiving end of a David Warner onslaught. He has grown the beard, he looks slightly more composed (maybe a bit mellow as well?) but he’s still the same athlete that would dive all over the place to save every single run.
A “Soldier” was how VVS Laxman had described him when he had got to know of Warner’s involvement in the ball-tampering scandal and that soldier is back and he’s back with a bang, the only visible change? It’s got to be that big Spartan bat in his hand. It’s hard to say whether there won’t be any long term after-effects of the ball tempering saga. There will for sure be repercussions during Warner’s career as well but one important aspect that Warner has not lost is his craft.
He’s still as good a batsman as he was a year back. One thing that Warner would learn if he doesn’t know already is the fact that cricket fans are fickle and have very short term memories, if he keeps providing them with innings like these they would be riding the “Warner Wave” and in no time would the ball-tampering saga be a thing of the past. Watching Warner do what he does best at Eden garden of all places would have melted the heart of die-hard enthusiasts and in the end, all that one can say is, ”Welcome back Mr. Warner, we missed you”.