Now, a quick look at Warner's ESPNcricinfo headlines from the last year or so does him no favours. They include the following gems:
- "Warner fined for sharp practice comments"
- "Cook condemns disrespectful Warner"
- "Warner dropped after punch at Root"
- "Warner fined for Twitter outburst"
- "Warner reprimanded for showing dissent"
Now, granted, I've cherry-picked the least flattering headlines out of dozens available, but that's what the media does. If you want to cast David Warner in a bad light, you just mention that he throws accusations at South African keepers, or that he punches English batsmen, or that he berates respected Australian journalists, and you're sorted. You've got the audience on your side, because suddenly they're questioning whether David Warner is the sort of guy who's fit to be representing his country. Personally, I can't say that he is or isn't - that's a judgement call for the selectors, who know him as a person far better than I.
What does get on my nerves is when people - usually commenters with questionable grammar and no statistical evidence - call for him to be dropped from the Test side on cricketing grounds. Now, David Warner would be the first to admit that he doesn't have an inner Mike Atherton to channel into a gritty rearguard innings, but that doesn't mean he isn't a Test class opener. It just means he's a different kind of opener. At the top of the order in the five-day game, Warner averages 44.06 across 52 Test innings. Already, he has belted six positive centuries. Statistically, this puts him in the top 30 opening batsmen in over 130 years of Test cricket, above the likes of Mark Taylor, Graham Gooch and Mike Atherton. You don't get there simply on the basis of "riding your luck."
So, does David Warner ride his luck? Yes, often to his downfall. Does David Warner take risks? Yes, often too many. But does he win Test matches? Yes, far more than he loses. In a purely cricketing sense, he would be one of the first few names on my Test team-sheet; the two opening spots are probably the two most secure batting spots in the Aussie team. And I expect that any sensible opposition skipper would rather be bowling at Phillip Hughes than David Warner at the moment.