Four of the seven quickest hundreds in Test history have come at the WACA (or should it now be renamed the Whacker?) – three of these have been scored by opening batsmen and indeed are the three quickest hundreds ever scored by openers in Test history.
We were too young to have seen the first of the three scored by Roy Fredericks against a fearsome Australian attack including Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson, but would recommend reading this wonderful recollection by The Guardian’s Andy Bull of a remarkably courageous innings from the batsman they called Kid Cement.
Fredericks reached his hundred in 71 balls, a feat bettered by one ball by Chris Gayle (see number six) in 2009 (in the days before he became a full-time T20 mercenary) in an innings that Nathan Hauritz in particular still probably hasn’t recovered from the spanking administered to him.
So onto today. India must have been feeling pretty dispirited having been blasted out for just 161 in a series that they are already 2-0 down in. But nothing could have prepared them for the slaughter that David Warner had in store for them.
Whilst all the Indian bowlers are probably organising one-way tickets (are there any other?) to Switzerland for an appointment with Dignitas after a shocking performance, nothing should be taken away from Warner’s gun-slinging performance.
He didn’t give a chance, carted all of the four-man Indian pace attack around the park, smashed Vinay Kumar’s fourth ball in Test cricket back over his head for six and reached his hundred in the most appropriate fashion by hitting another monstrous six off the same unfortunate debutant, whose retirement from Test cricket probably cannot come soon enough.
As a result Warner beat Gayle’s mark by one ball to join Shivnarine Chanderpaul (who must have left his pet crab at home on that particular day) as the joint fourth fastest century maker in Test history.
In his first five Tests Warner has now become only the sixth batsmen ever to carry his bat in the fourth innings of a Test as well as scoring the quickest hundred ever by an opener in Test history, which makes our initial assessment that Warner wouldn’t cut the mustard in the long form of the game look pretty foolish.
But not as foolish as an Indian side who have now let Australia rack up 771/1 since reducing them to 37/3 in Sydney with partnerships of 288, 334* and now 149*. Duncan Fletcher who has lost his last 11 overseas Tests as coach of England and now India is staring down the barrel once again.
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