Dashing Australian opener David Warner believes India’s Rohit Sharma has the firepower to surpass West Indies great Brian Lara’s record 400 not out in a Test match.
Warner, who scored his maiden triple ton (335) in five-day cricket during the ongoing second Test against Pakistan here, was just 65 runs shy of breaking Lara’s record when skipper Tim Paine decided to declare the innings at 589/3.
Though he couldn’t break the record, Warner believes it is possible to surpass the 400-mark and backed Rohit to achieve the feat in the near future. Lara’s 400 not out is the highest individual score in Test cricket which came against England in 2004.
“Yeah, look, I think it’s about the person himself. We’ve got long boundaries, it is quite difficult at times. When fatigue sets in, it’s very hard to try hard and throw your hands at it,” Warner told ‘Fox Sports’.
“At the end, I tried to run twos to lift the ante because I couldn’t actually think like I could clear the ropes. I think, one day, if I’ve to name a player, I reckon it could be Rohit Sharma. Definitely.”
Considered one of the best batsmen in ODI cricket, Rohit couldn’t achieve much success in Tests initially but the Mumbaikar made a successful comeback to the longest format when he was included as an opener for the three-match series against South Africa. As an opener in his first Test, Rohit scored twin-centuries against South Africa and was eventually named the Man of the Series.
Warner, who surpassed Sir Don Bradman’s highest Test score of 334 during his unbeaten knock in the ongoing day-night Test, also revealed that he had doubts about his Test career and it was former India opener Virender Sehwag, who had predicted that he would be a better Test batsman than a T20 cricketer.
“When I met Virender Sehwag while playing for Delhi in the IPL, he sat down to me and said I will be a better Test player than a Twenty 20 player. I said ‘you’re out of your mind, I’ve not played many first-class games’,” Warner told reporters.
“He always said ‘they will have slips and gully, covers open, mid-wicket stay there. mid-off and mid-on will be up, you can get off to a flier and sit there all day and you’ll be picking them all off’. That’s always stuck in my mind, it sounded very easy when we were discussing then.”
Warner ran a half-marathon!
The fitness levels of Australia’s modern cricketers are tracked to the nth degree and numbers from Cricket Australia’s High Performance team revealed that Warner covered a total of 20.921 kilometres with bat in hand on Friday and Saturday, the equivalent of a half-marathon. The action of running the short 22-yard distance between wickets means batsmen are never able to register large distances at a high speed, unlike fast bowlers, and Warner’s numbers show that almost 80 per cent of the 21 kilometres he covered were at jogging pace. But while the Aussie quicks generally run longer distances at a higher pace, batsmen like Warner outstrip their fast-bowling teammates when it comes to short bursts of intense speed between the wickets.
Warner’s data shows that he put himself and his batting partners through 146 efforts that were classified as ‘high-intensity accelerations’, where he sprinted at full speed between the wickets. It’s an element of Warner’s game that has been the focus of his sessions in recent years with his “fantastic” sprint coach Roger Fabri, who coaches athletes across a wide range of sports. And Warner has implemented Fabri’s teachings - as well as those of the team’s fitness staff - into his batting, even if it does sometimes draw the mirth of his teammates. “It’s about my first five steps when I’m batting and when I’m fielding and making sure you’ve got the right technique,” he said.