Watch: David Warner dismissed for golden duck off first ball after stunner at short leg
A bully in home conditions, David Warner has been struggling for survival even in Australia over the past year in Test cricket. With his reflexes in evident decline against fast-bowling, the left-hander has found it very difficult to ride the bounce and time the ball perfectly even on decks where he used to reign in.
Those struggles were reinforced with a telling first-ball dismissal at the Gabba against South African spearhead Kagiso Rabada on Saturday (December 17), with Warner getting out fending to a rising short-ball at short-leg in an exceptional catch by Khaya Zondo.
As Rabada got it to rise steeply at the body for David Warner, he could only tap the ball to Zondo, who leapt up and took one of the most brilliant catches one would ever see in the close-in. The Proteas fielder swiftly adjusted to the trajectory of the ball and timed his jump to perfection on his way to a one-handed stunner.
Zondo special gets rid of Warner
It was the most perfect of bouncers that Rabada could've delivered off the very first ball of the innings. The right-arm seamer got it to jump up from a length towards David Warner's front shoulder and he found himself in a tangle, managing to ultimately fend it towards the short-leg region.
Placed there, Zondo, who had kept himself low in anticipation of taking the catch knee high, adjusted in double quick time for the ball sailing over his head and took a special one-handed grab to give South Africa a much-needed breakthrough.
For what it's worth, it was a ball that deserved a wicket, as Rabada got it to rise off the length awkwardly to Warner, who used to be a great place of pace and bounce in heyday. The effort from Zondo only took the limelight off a brilliant delivery.
Perhaps deservingly so, as it wasn't the easiest of catches he pulled off with such a great piece of athleticism and precision of timing and execution after being positioned at one of the toughest fielding spots.