Exclusive: Two-time World Cup winner Brad Hogg backs Travis Head to carry on David Warner's legacy

Former Australian spin bowler Brad Hogg discusses David Warner's illustrious career and Travis Head's potential to continue Warner's legacy. Hogg praises Warner's growth as a player and person, despite the challenges faced, and highlights Head's impressive performances and aggressive style.

Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya
W. Bhattacharyy

Last Updated: 2024-06-21

Louis Hobbs

7 minutes read

David Warner

David Warner arrived in international cricket in 2009 when batting at a strike rate of over 200 would turn many heads. The Indian Premier League was only a year old, while The Big Bash League had not even begun. The attacking left-handed batter smashed 89 off 43 on T20I debut against South Africa. He brought in a new wave in Australian cricket.

The 37-year-old Warner, appearing in his last international assignment, will be the cynosure of all eyes as the Aussies start the Super Eight campaign in the T20 World Cup 2024 in the West Indies. Already a three-time World Cup winner — ODI World Cup 2015, T20 World Cup 2021, and ODI World Cup 2023 — he will be keen for a fourth before hanging up his boots.

Former Australia wrist-spinner Brad Hogg lauded the superstar for growing as a person and a cricketer amid the rough waters of the Sandpapergate controversy, which snatched a year of cricket from the southpaw. "David has had a great career. He is one of the first players to have played Test cricket after debuting in T20Is. He changed the landscape of the game. The great lesson for everyone from David's career is that you go through ups, downs, and challenges. It is all about how you handle them," Hogg told Sportsboom on Thursday.

Image Credits: Crictoday

Image Credits: Crictoday

Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith, and Warner faced sanctions from Cricket Australia after using sandpaper on the cricket ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in 2018. Warner lost his vice-captaincy and Smith his captaincy. The consequences of the incident scarred the sportsman in him, and he hopes the cricket romantics remember him for his contribution to the sport.

After Ricky Ponting's 27,368 runs across formats, Warner is the second in the list of run-getters for Australia at 18,933 runs (ahead of the Super Eight).

Hogg feels controversies are part of the game. "There will be big challenges when you go out there to make something of yourself to succeed in your career. There is going to be controversy as well. I think the greatest thing about David is how he has grown as a person amid all the trials and tribulations. He still kept performing as a player. He is a great family man. It's a great story," said the 53-year-old, who played alongside Warner in the shorter format.

The cricket fraternity will miss the deadly combination of Warner and Travis Head after the former's retirement. Head is expected to carry on the legacy of Warner with his aggressive batsmanship. The duo holds the record for Australia's best opening partnership in ODIs: 284 against Pakistan in Adelaide in 2017 and 269 against England in Melbourne in 2022.

Image Credits: Arab News Pakistan

Image Credits: Arab News Pakistan

Head led the batting department of Australia in the ODI World Cup last year, followed by a sterling performance in the IPL with 567 runs in 15 matches at a strike rate of 191.55. The 49-ball 68 against Scotland was his first fifty of the T20 World Cup. "Head is going berserk. I am loving the way he is taking on the game. There was a bit of self-doubt a couple of years ago, and Pat Cummins told him to play his natural game. It is good leadership. He told Travis to play with freedom and that he would back him. When players get that sort of feedback from their leaders, they can go out there and express themselves, Travis has shown. I am pleased with his success. I have seen him as a junior. He is a great kid and has worked hard," said Hogg, who was part of Australia's World Cup winning squad in 2003 and 2007.

Australia will complete the ICC treble if they win the T20 World Cup. They won the World Test Championship and the ODI World Cup last year. "Australia is a thoroughly balanced side with good all-round ability. They have all bases covered," Hogg signed off.

Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya is a cricket journalist based in India who takes a keen interest in stories that unfold on and off the field. His expertise lies in news writing, features and profiles, interviews, stats, and numbers-driven stories. He has also worked as a podcaster and talk show host on cricket-related shows on YouTube and Spotify.