David Warner’s form slump has turned into a nightmare with the Aussie opener removed for a first-ball golden duck in the first Test against South Africa.
Desperate to score runs after averaging just 25.5 in the recently completed two-Test series against the West Indies side and just 23 in nine Tests this year.
The battle between Warner and South African pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada had loomed as a highlight of the Test, but the seamer made short work of the Aussie opener who was caught in a sharp catch by Khaya Zondo at short leg.
It was only the second golden duck that Warner has fallen for in his career and the first in nine years.
‘This little battle, four times Rabada’s got Warner but it has come at 166 runs off 143 balls, usually it is entertaining, here we go,’ former Aussie wicketkeeper and commentator Adam Gilchrist said as Rabada steamed in.
The ball immediately speared up at an awkward length and caught Warner trying to defend it on the back foot, only to splice it to short leg where it was taken by Zondo in an extremely sharp effort.
Warner is struck on the top of the bat by a brutal short ball from Rabada which spliced its way into the air and to the fielder at short leg
Khaya ‘the flyer’ Zondo stretches to reel in the ball and continue David Warner’s form slump in 2022
‘Uppish, oh he’s taken! First ball!’ Gilchrist said.
‘It is a golden duck for David Warner, make that five for Rabada, a wonderful catch in close.
‘Immediate strike by South Africa, oh what a start.’
Fellow commentator Mark Waugh praised Zondo for his reflexes to reel in the catch at full stretch.
‘It was going to be exciting and this is going to be very, very interesting batting on this pitch,’ he said.
‘What a catch at short leg, good short one, David Warner just took his eye off the ball and he got it high on the bat, but great reflexes in at short leg.
‘Zondo in close took a reflect catch, wow. What a start by South Africa, David Warner gone first ball. 1/0 Australia.’
‘That is just perfection from Kagiso Rabada,’ Gilchrist added.
Warner trudges off the field after being dismissed for just his second golden duck in his career and the first since 2013
Commentator Isha Guya said the early wicket would fill the South Africans with belief after they were rolled for just 152 on a green wicket at the Gabba in Brisbane.
‘This is what everyone was watching out for, all around the world, this battle Kagiso Rabada versus David Warner,’ she said.
‘First ball and it is a stunning catch. Excellent reflexes. South Africa will believe. All out for 152, if they can pick up another couple of wickets here they will back themselves with their pace attack.
‘And Kagiso Rabada provides, outstanding stuff.’
Rabada celebrates the huge wicket of Warner which gives the visitors hope after they were bowled out for 152
While the ball and the catch were top shelf, Waugh added that Warner had let himself down by not watching the ball closely enough.
‘I’ve got no doubt about it, this pitch is going to be really tough these two hours,’ he said.
‘David Warner just took his eye off the ball didn’t he? He took his eye off it and he has paid the price with a great catch.
‘Nothing has gone David Warner’s way. He keeps making mistakes and keeps getting paid the highest price.’
Warner consoles police officers prior to the match as part of a tribute to the slain Queensland Police constables this week
Warner talks to Mark Howard about the Sydney Thunder’s low score of 15 in the Big Bash League on the day of the first Test
Ironically, Warner’s failure comes after he was interviewed by Mark Howard on the day of the Test about the Sydney Thunder’s record capitulation for just 15 runs the previous night in the Big Bash League.
‘I was gobsmacked,’ he said.
‘Literally, I reckon I got up to go to the toilet and after the first over I came back and they had lost another two wickets in the over.
‘Look at the end of the day those are ones that, you don’t laugh at it, but you’ve just got to let it go.
‘There’s no debriefing, it is what it is and you have to move on.
‘But it’s a good game plan to get Rashid [Khan] out of the attack