Michael Clarke has had a poor run in the series so far © Getty Images
Michael Clarke has had a poor run in the series so far © Getty Images

 

by Colin Bryden

 

Cape Town: Feb 28, 2014

 

Australian captain Michael Clarke criticised David Warner over comments that earned the opening batsman a fine from International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Roshan Mahanama.

 

Warner was fined 15 percent of his match fee for “inappropriate comments” when he suggested South African wicketkeeper AB de Villiers might have illegally altered the condition of the ball to induce reverse swing during South Africa’s 231-run win in the second Test at Port Elizabeth.

 

Speaking on the eve of the decisive third Test starting at Newlands on Saturday, Clarke said the Australians had dealt with the issue in house, in addition to Warner being fined by the ICC.

 

“I’ve made it very clear to David how disappointed I was, and am, with his comments,” said Clarke.

 

“At the appropriate time I’ll certainly catch up with (South African captain) Graeme (Smith) and make it clear how I feel about it.”

 

Clarke said the issue had been dealt with. “Now it’s about playing cricket,” he said.

 

“Once we step on the field I’ll back my teammates 100 percent. Davey’s no different. He’s a tough player, there’s no doubt about it, and he’ll love the challenge he faces when he walks out onto that ground.

 

“I’ve read and heard a number of the South Africans say how disappointed they were with him and I think he’s assuming he’s going to cop a bit of stick on the field. But that’s no different, he actually enjoys that.”

 

Clarke said Australia could be proud of their performances so far. “We achieved everything we wanted through the Australian home summer.

 

“I’ve said all along our greatest challenge is to have success overseas. To sit in the position we are at 1-1 going into the third Test against the number one team in the world in their own backyard is a great achievement. Now we’ve got an opportunity to win the series.”