South Africa bowling coach Allan Donald likened David Warner to Brian Lara as the dashing batsman blitzed day one of the Test series decider in Cape Town.
The hosts would have found Warner’s explosive innings of 135 just as unpalatable as his controversial remarks about their reverse-swing bowling in the second Test.
Warner, criticised by Graeme Smith and punished by both the ICC and Australia for questioning wicketkeeper AB de Villiers’ treatment of the ball, is yet to make a public comment about the controversy.
With consultant Shane Warne sent out for the day-one press conference, Warner remained mute.
But Donald said more than enough as he analysed the fashion in which Warner busted the game wide open with 12 fours, one six and swift running between the wickets.
“With the controversy that (preceded the Test) … I thought the statement that he made today was pretty good,” Donald said.
“There’s no mucking around with what Warner does and you know what you’re going to get.
“It’s a bit like me bowling to Brian Lara – you know that he was going to come at you but he’s also going to give you chances.
“He’s balanced his batting well.
“He played very, very well.”
Warner’s belligerence was incredible, especially against Vernon Philander whom he flayed for three boundaries in the sixth over.
“He puts pressure on the opposition so quickly … how fast he scores and the way he scores,” Warne said.
“Duminy was bowling in the 10th over. Very early, you’ve got a part-time spinner bowling.”
But Warne suggested it would be too simplistic to regard Warner as a mere brutal stroke player.
“Graeme Smith had point (fieldsman) back and he got a couple of singles to point.
“Smith brought point up, so he hit two fours past him.
“It’s not like he’s all about smashing the ball. He actually thinks about it and is quite clever about it.”