David Warner’s form slump has turned into a nightmare with the Australian opener removed for a first-ball wicket in the first Test against South Africa.
Desperate to score runs at an average of 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 emerged as a highlight of the Test, but the seamer made short work of the Aussie opener who was caught in a crisp catch by Khaya Zondo at short leg.
It was only the second golden duck that Warner has fallen to in his career and the first in nine years.
“This little match, four times Rabada has got Warner but it has come to 166 runs off 143 balls, usually it’s entertaining, here it is,” former Australian wicketkeeper and commentator Adam Gilchrist said as Rabada steamed on.
The ball immediately sprang up at a difficult length and caught Warner who tried to defend it on the back foot, only to shoot it to short leg where it was caught by Zondo in an extremely sharp effort.
Warner is hit at the top of the bat by a brutal short ball from Rabada that shot up 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’s a golden duck for David Warner, makes it five for Rabada, a fantastic catch at close range.
‘Immediate strike from South Africa, oh what a start.’
Co-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 hitting on this course,” 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 into short leg.
“Zondo in close made a reflective catch, wow. For a start by South Africa, David Warner walked first ball. 1/0 Australia.’
“It’s just perfection from Kagiso Rabada,” Gilchrist added.
Warner limps off the field after being dismissed for just his second career wicket and first since 2013
Commentator Isha Guya said the early wicket would fill the South Africans with belief after they were bowled out for just 152 on a green wicket at the Gabba in Brisbane.
“This was what everyone was watching for, all over the world, this Kagiso Rabada versus David Warner match,” she said.
“First ball and it’s a fantastic catch. Excellent reflexes. South Africa will believe. All out for 152, if they can take a couple more wickets here they will back themselves with their pace attack.
‘And Kagiso Rabada gives outstanding things.’
Rabada celebrates the huge wicket of Warner that 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 seeing the ball closely enough.
“I have no doubt about it, this track is going to be very tough these two hours,” he said.
“David Warner just took his eyes 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 the highest prize.
Warner comforts police officers before the match as part of a tribute to slain Queensland Police constables this week
Warner talks to Mark Howard about 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 Sydney Thunder’s record capitulation of just 15 runs the previous night in the Big Bash League.
“I was cursed,” he said.
Literally I think I got up to go to the toilet and after the first over I came back and they had lost two more wickets in the over.
“Look at the end of the day, there are those who are like, you don’t laugh about it, but you just have to let it go.
“There is no debriefing, it is what it is and you have to move on.
“But it’s a good plan to get Rashid [Khan] out of the attack