MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 27: David Warner of Australia celebrates his century during day two of the Second Test match in the series between Australia and South Africa at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 27, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Australian opener David Warner was caught off guard after learning he had won the Player of the Series nod following Australia's 2-0 series win over South Africa.

Warner scored 213 from his four innings against the Proteas bowling attack, 200 of which came in his sole MCG stand to amass a series average of 53.25 for the series.

The veteran hitter was matched by middle-order batsman Travis Head, who had an equal runs tally and average after recording scores of 92, 0, 51 and 70 across the series.

Steve Smith led the Australian batters for runs scored with 231, while Warner's opening partner Usman Khawaja notched up 209 runs, highlighted by an unbeaten 195 at the SCG.

Among the bowlers for Australia, captain Pat Cummins was the clear standout with a bowling average of 16.91 from his 12 wickets against the Proteas.

Cummins was the only Australian pace bowler to feature in all three matches against South Africa, leading the charge as Australia dismantled the touring nation's top order.

When it came to voting for the Player of the Series, it is understood that a tie atop the leaderboard was split three ways, with AAP reporting Warner, Khawaja and Head each polled 18 votes.

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The broadcasters are understood to have decided on Warner being handed the Player of the Series honour, something that came as a surprise to the 36-year-old.

"He said himself, that's surprising," Cummins said.

"I heard someone say it was joint between a couple of players, and Davey got it in the end.

"Whenever someone plays, it's not the first thing they put on their mantle piece, the player of the series. So it is what it is."

The knock of 200 was a timely innings for Warner following scores of 0 and 3 in the opening match in Brisbane, while the New South Welshman failed to hit a half-century in his four innings against an underwhelming West Indies outfit earlier in the summer.

The return to form will likely be enough for Warner to remain atop the Australian batting order for next month's Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which will commence in Nagpur on February 9.

Off the back of their series win over South Africa, Australia remain in the driver's seat to feature in the World Test Championship final in London mid-year prior to their away Ashes series, which will begin in June.