Ian Healy has his say after David Warner 'robbed' of cricket award by Mitch Marsh

The Aussie cricket great has revealed who he would have picked as player of the match after the first Test.

Ian Healy, Mitch Marsh and David Warner.
Ian Healy reckons David Warner should have been player of the match, not Mitch Marsh. Image: Getty

Aussie cricket great Ian Healy has declared that David Warner should have received the player of the match award after the first Test against Pakistan, rather than Mitch Marsh. The decision to hand Marsh the honour sparked debate amongst fans after Warner was overlooked despite scoring 164 in the first innings.

Playing his first Test in front of his home fans in Western Australia in six years, Marsh was a popular choice amongst spectators at the ground. But many on social media felt that Warner's knock was more deserving of player of the match honours.

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Marsh enjoyed a brilliant return to Test cricket in the west, scoring 90 and 63 not out while also snaring the key wicket of Babar Azam in the first innings. But according to Healy, it was Warner who should have got the medal.

“I would have put him man of the match,” Healy said on SEN radio. “When I found out how difficult those conditions were on day one given that the commentators were saying pre-match about this pitch that, ‘Oh, I'll be great for bowling’… I would be putting David Warner as man of the match.”

Healy lauded Warner's innings, which set up the game for Australia and made it easy for the other batters who followed to play with more freedom. “That 160 he made in the first innings won us a Test in Perth,” Healy said. “It wasn't easy. I looked at it from afar on Thursday afternoon and I said, ‘Oh, jeez, I wouldn't like to be Pakistan’, they are going to feel about a foot shorter than they actually are tomorrow afternoon not knowing how difficult the conditions were.

“Maybe Pakistan missed the trick in the first session, bowling too short, but I don't know of anyone else that can make 160 that quick in tough conditions. I like the way Michael Slater made tough second innings batting conditions look. Mark Waugh could also make a mockery out of tough conditions, but David Warner was outstanding.”

David Warner, pictured here after bringing up his century in the first Test against Pakistan.
David Warner celebrates after bringing up his century in the first Test against Pakistan. (Photo by COLIN MURTY/AFP via Getty Images)

Ian Healy says David Warner could play on if he wanted to

The wicket-keeping legend even declared that Warner could keep playing if he wanted, however the 37-year-old will retire from Test cricket after the third match of the series at the SCG in January. “What I love about him is his durability,” Healy said. “We all know how fit he must be because he's maintained his pace between wickets.

“I just love the way that he kept going and his feet moved. This is the bit I agree about Mitchell Johnson and what he said about, ‘Why have a swansong, your last three years hasn't been very good and now you're picking the way you can retire’.

“But if he bats like that, he can go another year for mine until he doesn't want to play anymore. That's what he's been missing in Test cricket, that footwork, balance and real bat speed when he needed it.”

Mitch Marsh excelling after four-year absence from Test cricket

The majority of fans agreed that Warner deserved player of the match honours, but none can deny that Marsh is back in a big way after a four-year absence from the Test team. The 32-year-old appeared destined to never play another Test just 12 months ago, but has now taken Cameron Green's spot and locked it down.

"I think he's just got a really clear process at the moment in whatever format it is," Australia captain Pat Cummins said. "He knows how to score runs, and you know he doesn't really care what it looks like.

"I think in the past you can get caught up in, 'There's a template of how you're meant to play Test cricket or supposed to play Test cricket and you've got to have a good forward defence'. I think how Travis Head's gone about it, David Warner his whole career, and now Mitch Marsh shows that it doesn't really matter how you score them, as long as you're scoring runs. I think Mitch has found a really good game plan, wherever he is in the world."

with AAP

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