Australia in South Africa 2013-14 February 25, 2014

Warner queries South Africa swing tactics

ESPNcricinfo staff

David Warner has raised a query over South Africa's handling of the ball during their victory in Port Elizabeth and said the Australians would speak to the umpires about the issue of scuffing the ball.

The South Africa attack found greater reverse swing during the second Test than Australia, which contributed to their win, and Warner conceded that both teams worked on the ball in an attempt to gain an advantage. However, he said the Australians would check with the umpires on the method of handling the ball used by South Africa's wicketkeeper AB de Villiers.

"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," Warner told Sky Sports Radio. "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.

"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 and this time it just didn't work for us because the outfield was probably a little bit moist under the ground and 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.

"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. That's another thing we have to try and bring up with the umpires."

Whatever the case, the Australians will need to work on their ability to handle high-class swing bowling over the next few days after Dale Steyn and his colleagues destroyed Australia on the fourth day in Port Elizabeth. The deciding third Test begins in Cape Town on Saturday.

Warner's questions come four months after South Africa batsman Faf du Flessis was fined for ball-tampering during the Dubai Test against Pakistan. Television visuals had showed du Plessis rubbing the ball near the zipper of his trouser pocket, after which the umpires changed the ball and awarded a five-run penalty.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Michael on March 2, 2014, 2:55 GMT

    Blaming the pitch is a wind up and distinctly different from accusing a team of cheating, that's not a wind up that's a lawsuit looking for a court room.

    It's the difference between banter and deformation.

    Unfortunately Warner doesn't know where to draw the line, I honestly think he thought it was a wind up but he's not the sharpest pencil in the case so has no idea about the distinction. Warner, while having a high profile position, represents only a fraction of the Aussie population, most would consider his comments appalling.

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2014, 7:47 GMT

    Well to be fair, the proteas do have form in ball tampering. Five months ago duPlessis was fined for ball tampering. @ Jairam Amrith, if you bothered to read the actual story Warner was commenting on what he saw and history supports him. The Saffas will be squeaky clean in this test.

  • Ronald on February 28, 2014, 7:04 GMT

    Warner is a serial Bogan. No one should take anything he says seriously.

  • Graham on February 28, 2014, 1:29 GMT

    Greatest_Game ; Your right you don't do a lot of complaining but other than Warner neither do Australia. But your sure do a lot of bragging for a team that hasn't beat us on your home soil since your return to test cricket and is currently 1-1 in this series. Morkel superior bowler to Johnson really is quite laughable.

  • stuart on February 27, 2014, 21:11 GMT

    It is funny how when they lose this comes up.surely the world's greatest attack can beat anyone.maybe the Aussie batting just ain't that good

  • Dummy4 on February 27, 2014, 15:45 GMT

    Aussies think it is their right to win games. Just because they lost and got hammered really they think something is wrong.

    How about you look at your own shots and techniques. Got a lot of luck in some of the past series. Played well too. But what makes winners good winners is gracious in defeat. Something Aussies have rarely/never done.

    SA are the best team in the world and Steyn is the best bowler in the world. Would love Channel 9 people to actually acknowledge that. And Clarke is not the best batsman in the world nor a great. Very good player but not great.

    Hope SA win again and convincingly!

  • David on February 27, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    @ Anthony8i asked "Why not South Africa complain on Johnson that how can he bowl much faster bouncer than the much taller bowler "Morkel" who is known for pace and bounce…"

    Because South Africa not complain on anyone, just play cricket and win and tall bowler Morkel bowl well and hit Johnson on head but nothing happen because Johnson head very hard as rock and not need helmet and ball just bounce off rock head but Johnson not bowl fast bouncer no more because confidence knocked right out of hard head by taller bowler "Morkel" superior bouncer bowler with much faster pace and big bounce that make Jonson inferior bowler scared eyes and bowl rubbish now.

  • Anthony Adaikalaraj on February 27, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    Why not South Africa complain on Johnson that how can he bowl much faster bouncer than the much taller bowler "Morkel" who is known for pace and bounce...

  • Dummy4 on February 27, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    @Shripathi Kamath Indians ignore our own team's whining because we know they are just plain bad , so the whining is to be expected, but when the all-conquering Aussies can't take defeat in their stride the whole world notices not just Indians, even you do, or don't you ?

  • Dummy4 on February 27, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    Funny how many Indian fans notice the whining when it is not India that does it

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