In the first episode of Wisden and CricViz‘s The Greatest T20 podcast, Luke Wright, CricViz analyst Freddie Wilde, and Wisden Cricket Weekly Podcast host Yas Rana discuss why David Warner is the prototype T20 batsman.
Wilde, who is also the co-author of 2020’s Wisden Book of the Year Cricket 2.0: Inside the T20 Revolution, emphasised on how Warner ‘brings together elements from Chris Gayle and AB de Villers’ games in one’. He went as far as to claim that the Australian has now overtaken Gayle as the best T20 opener.
“Warner takes what Gayle has an opener, which is raw power, strength against pace and spin and he taps into a little bit of stuff that de Villiers does, which is he is a quick runner between the wickets and can rotate strike.
“There are a series of different factors which you use to evaluate a player and trying to lift each one up – dot ball percentage, boundary percentage, strength against pace, strength against spin, getting them all as high you can is the key to being a really good player and Warner is someone who is fantastic at almost all of those.
“And he is not a genius like ABD – doesn’t have the sprinkle of stardust that de Villiers has but he does bring together elements of Gayle’s game and de Villers’s game in one. And he probably now has overtaken Gayle, on current form, as the predominant T20 opener,” Wilde said.
Wright concurred with the argument in Warner’s favour, adding how the Sunrisers Hyderabad opener doesn’t always get the credit he deserves.
“Someone like Warner, I think he has shown it, to dominate the way he has in the IPL, with the pressure and in all conditions. Yes, he doesn’t always get seen as a genius like ABD but stats don’t lie. And he constantly just does it, which has really helped him.
“But there’s a huge skill in there and he doesn’t always get the attention that he should. But a phenomenal, phenomenal player,” Wright said.
Wilde, further expanding on his initial comparison between Gayle and Warner, highlighted how the Australian’s approach is beneficial for the team as a whole.
“Forget all of Gayle’s greatness…you do wonder how many players there’ll be of Gayle’s mould. And actually, if there will be more openers in the Warner mould which is combining that power game with a little bit of proactivity. Because when it goes wrong for a Gayle style of player, that can be quite damaging to the side.
“And I think there’s a growing movement of people I suppose to get up and going quickly. And having worked with teams on drafts and auctions, strike-rate in the first 5-10 balls, how quickly can you get up to speed, that’s important and something that Warner does well,” he argued.