David Warner on Tuesday made a dashing start to 2017 as he shattered the record books with a blazing 78-ball hundred in the third Test between Australia and Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Only four batsmen previously have achieved the coveted feat, including the hallowed figures of Sir Donald Bradman and Victor Trumper, and none had occurred in Australia.
While David Warner reinforced his status as a modern-day great with a historic century before lunch yesterday, Matthew Renshaw's unbeaten 167 announced him as the vice-captain's likely long-term partner.
The 30-year-old's 18th ton lifts him above Adam Gilchrist and Steve Smith into outright 14th on Australia's all-time list of century-makers, and one behind Mark Taylor and Michael Hussey. He is the first batsman in over four decades to achieve the feat. Warner said his first inkling that he might be able to bring up his hundred before lunch came when he was on 80, with about 25 minutes left in the session.
Under Misbah's captaincy, Pakistan had climbed to No.1 in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Test rankings past year but they lost their position to India, who reclaimed it back in October. The vice-captain was intent on making a statement from the get go but, wisely, he didn't do anything out of the ordinary - unlike some forgettable dismissals earlier in the summer.
Warner's knock bettered his previous fastest century at the SCG - off 82 balls in last year's Test against West Indies. Warner scored his fifty in 42 balls within the first hour of the play.
The penultimate over of the session had started with Warner on 94, and he took a single from the first ball, before Renshaw defensively played out the rest of the over from Mohammad Amir.
"It should be a good experience if I'm selected", Renshaw said.
There was runs either side of the pitch for Warner; a lack of straight-driven boundaries reflecting both the pugilism of his method and also the shortish lengths favoured by Pakistan's bowlers.
"So I worked a lot with [NCC head coach] Troy Cooley and Ryan Harris and they got a lot of structure behind my run-up and did a bit of technical work as well".
O'Keefe comes in for the fourth Test of his career and will be hoping to impress ahead of selection for Australia's Test squad to tour India next month.