There was something unusual in David Warner’s usual celebration after scoring a century. With the helmet in his right hand and the bat in the left, he leapt in the air with a thunderous roar and then ended with a shushing gesture. A Test hundred on farewell series was always going to be special but it became more memorable thanks to all the chatter between him and former Australia pacer Michell Johnson before the series against Pakistan began. On the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan in Perth, Warner silenced all doubters by slamming a typically explosive 164 off 211 balls in a spectacular start to his final hurrah as an Australian Test cricketer.

File image of David and Candice Warner.(FIle)

After making a ‘shush’ gesture following his Test century on Day 1, Warner said Johnson is entitled to his opinion and that he is free to celebrate how he likes. As it turned out, Warner was not the only one answering Johnson. The left-hander’s wife, Candice also took to social media to post a shushing emoji.

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Earlier in the month in an editorial published in the West Australian, the former speedster Johnson questioned why Warner had the authority to choose his retirement date despite his terrible form with the bat in Tests and accused him of not owning up to his role in the ball-tampering scandal.

When asked about the celebration, the left-hander claimed it was a ‘good little shush’ and that he didn’t feel any pressure before stepping out to bat.

“You saw what it was. It was a nice little quiet shush. It’s just anyone who wants to write stories about me and trying to use headlines, get headlines, that stuff doesn’t bother me. It’s just the fact that I have to go out there and do what I have to do. And I’m allowed to celebrate how I want,” Warner said after the day’s play.

Warner was questioned further on whether he would try to restore his fractured friendship with Johnson, despite having shared a World Cup and Ashes victory with him. However, the opening player alluded to comments made by former Australia coach Justin Langer, who wrote in his West Australian weekly column that Johnson should have “praised in public and criticised in private.”

“Mitch is entitled to his opinion. He’s a former player. You saw Justin Langer’s comments. He said he’s entitled to it. You can go back to Justin Langer’s comments and refer to them and so be it,” Warner said.

In 20 Tests from 2022-23, Warner has scored 936 runs in 36 innings at an average of 26.74, with just one century and four half-centuries. This is in stark contrast with the opener’s white-ball form, which has been consistent in the 2020s as well.

Warner believes that his amazing run of form in the ODI World Cup and return to form in Test cricket in Perth had nothing to do with mechanical adjustments. Instead, he argued that it corresponded with things cooling down behind the scenes following the uproar over his captaincy ban appeal with Cricket Australia last summer.

“There’s been a lot of stuff off the field that’s not really distracted me from a personal point of view. We had a lot of stuff with CA last year and the captaincy stuff and I was going through a pretty, pretty hard time off the field from all that and dealing with it,” the left-handed batter stated.

“This year we’ve had a great successful 12 months as a team. We’re all so pleased with our achievements, but we’ve still got work to do this summer. I think, where I am in my part of my career it’s been great. I’ve not really had much to worry about. People make comments but you get on with it and you’ve got to go out there and score runs. Today I did that but as a team, we had a few starts and I know a lot of other guys would like to go on. But I think we’re in a pretty good position on that [pitch]. I think where we finished today is probably around par minus probably another wicket,” the veteran opener said.

(With ANI inpus)

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