David Warner set the tone with Crhis Rogers before Dale Steyn triggered a collapse © Getty Images
Feb 25, 2014
Australian opener David Warner has questioned South Africa’s ‘work’ on the ball and asked umpires to clarify their stance on the matter. Warner singled out AB de Villiers for wiping the ball using his glove wipe for reverse swing, which was used to full effect by Dale Steyn to skittle out Australia cheaply.
He said “We were actually questioning whether or not AB de Villiers would get the ball in his hand and with his glove wipe the rough side every ball,” Warner told Sky Sports Radio. “That’s another thing we have to try and bring up with the umpires.”
Warner also brought up the topic of throwing the ball into the wicket, a tactic deployed by both teams in the 2nd Test in Port Elizabeth but the hard-hitting batsman admitted that he hosts got the measure of his team there.
“I think it comes down to the umpires warning both teams not to throw the ball into the wicket which you generally try and do,” he said.
“They did it better than what we did, or more obvious than what we did. At the end of the day it comes down to who can do that the best and work on the ball.”
Warner also shed light in the fact that Mitchell Johnson and co had worked tirelessly on the ball despite the mixed results.
“We worked on the ball a lot in England and we got the ball to reverse a lot there, and we got the ball reversing a little at home [against England].
“This time it just didn’t work for us because the outfield was probably a little bit moist under the ground and (on) day one it was obviously quite hard to get it to go reverse as well.
“That’s what happens in the game. You have to try and work out how to do that. Sometimes that happens.”
Speaking after the game, Australia captain Michael Clarke didn’t have complaints about the matter “We knew the hardest period throughout this Test match was going to be once the ball got old, starting your innings against reverse swing,” he said.
“And we saw enough of that in the first innings to know, on a nice, hot day, reverse swing was going to play a bigger part in the second innings than it did in the first.”