South Africa v Australia, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 5th day March 5, 2014

Clarke sorry for Steyn anger

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'It was a long day' - Michael Clarke

Australia's captain Michael Clarke has admitted he overstepped the mark in a fiery confrontation with Dale Steyn as the decisive Test against South Africa at Newlands ticked towards its thrilling conclusion, and also acknowledged a caution from the umpires about his side's treatment of the ball on the final day.

As the umpires prepared to call the start of the final hour, Steyn and James Pattinson became involved in an exchange which Clarke stepped into. His angry words to Steyn escalated the stand-off until the umpire Aleem Dar was forced to step between them. In the aftermath of victory, Clarke conceded his fault though not referring to Steyn by name. The pair spoke warmly after hostilities were ceased by the final wicket.

"You definitely had two extremely passionate teams that wanted to win this Test. There were obviously a lot of words throughout the game. Let's call it banter," Clarke said. "Do you know what? Honestly, if anybody was out of line it was me and I apologise to the opposition player I was out of line to.

"A player who I have the utmost respect for, who tries to kill me every time bat, who batted exceptionally well, and I was out of line. If any player on either team, it was me who was out of line. Let's just say he [Steyn] got me at a bad time. We just had a decision that didn't go our way that I would have liked to have seen go our way but that's the game.

"And certainly as captain of your country you've got to be able to cop that on the chin. Something was said to one of my team mates. I seem to make this mistake a few times but I jumped in after him. It doesn't matter what happened, what I said was something out of character and I apologise for that. I shouldn't have said what I said."

This was far from the only flashpoint on a final day that also featured queries over the care of the ball, a beamer delivered by Pattinson and a confrontation between Australia's players and the umpires following the reversal of a decision to give out Vernon Philander on some rather ambiguous evidence.

During the 74th over of the innings, the umpires Dar and Kumar Dhamasena called over touring captain Michael Clarke and inspected the ball while appearing to offer a caution against more bounce throws. The wicketkeeper Brad Haddin had taken to waiting for the ball to bounce until he took returns from the field, often allowing it to bounce on the pitch itself.

Several subsequent conversations were had between Dar, Dharmasena, and other Australians including Haddin and Ryan Harris. It is within the power of the umpires to impose a five-run penalty and have the batsmen choose a replacement ball of similar age if they feel "the deterioration in the condition of the ball is greater than is consistent with the use it has received".

Clarke confirmed the nature of the conversation and said his players had abided by the umpires' ruling once it had been delivered to him. "The umpires were up me about a few things. That was one of them," he said. "I always believed that if you're in the ring you should be throwing the ball on the full because it's a 20 metre throw. If the guys are on the boundary you can accept that some guys can't throw it that far.

"Whatever criticism we cop for that I'm more than happy to cop but I think our players understand there is a line and we know not to overstep that. We were asked by the umpires to make sure we were throwing the ball on the full and I think we accepted that and listened to that."

Tensions over the two teams' care of the ball has simmered since the second Test in Port Elizabeth, after which the opener David Warner openly questioned the legality of South Africa's handling, particularly AB de Villiers' use of his wicketkeeping gloves to rub the ball. The hosts gained sharp reverse swing on the fourth day as they rattled to victory.

That allegation drew heavy criticism from South African team management and an ICC fine for Warner, although Harris later repeated the accusation with the qualification that it must have been legal because the umpires did not step in. The umpires were seen talking to de Villiers on day one of the Newlands match and gesturing about his use of the wicketkeeping gloves on the ball.

Faf du Plessis added another chapter to the affair when he expressed surprise on the third evening that Australia managed to gain sharp reverse swing within 30 overs, having not achieved any deviation through the air at St George's Park. Having heard of this allegation, the tourists made their displeasure known to du Plessis on the final day, being picked up doing so on the stump microphones.

Last year, du Plessis was fined 50% of his match fee during the second Test against Pakistan in Dubai after being captured on camera rubbing the ball near the zipper of his trouser pocket.

Relations between du Plessis and the Australians were not enhanced by his contention that the visitors circled him "like wild dogs" when he chose to pick the ball up while batting on day three. Warner was heard to greet du Plessis with mock howls, before offering him a send-off when he was dismissed by Steve Smith shortly before the tea interval.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 9, 2014, 7:17 GMT

    This is Clarke's modus operandi; it's how he goes about doing things. Win - at any cost - and then say oh I am SO sorry for that! afterwards. You can see he clearly gets a kick out of it. Because he hasn't evolved from schoolyard bully and is why he is universally disliked so much. He still has a long, long way to grow up yet.

  • CricketFanIndUS on March 9, 2014, 1:07 GMT

    A spitting, cussing, expletive laden ranting Steyn on Satellite TV world wide . . comes right into my family room on the big screen on HD . . . for impressionable children to see it clearly. . . . . good role model for our future generation. No wonder he got that reaction from Michael Clarke . . .the other SA players did not elicit that from Clarke on his admittedly bad day, did they?

  • on March 8, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    For the record, I'm a diehard SA fanatical passionate crazy supporter. My 2cents is that I admire each team equally for a tremendous battle of nerve, courage, determination, endurance and even for showing their testosterone. Each team battled as in war! Where in war is there seriously place for kind words? BUT in the truest sportsmanship manner which is honestly the reserve of this great GAME, these brave warriors showed their class and dignity by reconciling when the time came. If ordinary people could behave like this more often, perhaps the world would be a better place to live. I take my hat off to Michael and his boys AND Smith and his boys. These are indeed the 2 finest cricketing teams in the world, not wishing to exclude the many exemplary gentlemen who bring the true cricket lover great joy and peace every time they take to the field.

  • Jagger on March 8, 2014, 1:48 GMT

    Thosar, does anything come out of your brain other than bile? We are proud to have beaten the English and South Africans, when all the experts said we couldn't. You forget about what Steve Waugh and many, many other Australians have done for the poor and downtrodden of India? Normal mums and dads donate their hard earned money to India to help some poor kid to smile and have done it purely for altruistic and generous reasons only. There is no need for your comments and the minor issue you speak of has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. Those 'old people' just beat England 5-nil and the number 1 ranked team at home. The same 'old people' are ranked number 2 in the world. "This will stop very soon" - when? Tell us when.

  • on March 7, 2014, 18:24 GMT

    dnt ever mess up with styn he will fire at u

  • gimme-a-greentop on March 7, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    Clarke had the decency and dignity to apologise for what he felt was going too far. No mention of the howling at Faf like dogs (which I suspect was Warner - correct me if I'm wrong). The league cricketers I umpire would be embarrassed about that. Childish. Faf shouldn't have said that either but the reaction was worse.

  • thozar on March 7, 2014, 2:36 GMT

    Pathetic behavior from Clarke. There is no use feeling sorry after committing mistake, you should not do it in the first place. I doubt if he would have said sorry had Oz lost or drawn the test. Aussies, first learn some sportsmanship. You have to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat. Especially for this generation Aussies, there is the perfect role model of a cricketer in Sachin. Now here is a man who was feared and respected by the opposition because he let his bat talk not his mouth. Clarke can never emulate the little master with the bat but it looks like he is even behind when it comes to behavior. Believe it or not, this Aussie team full of old people who will start losing very soon. Momentum plays a big part in this sport. The Aussies thumped their arch rivals at home and carried that momentum to RSA where they have always done well. This will stop very soon. It is going to be fun to see the Aussies return to losing ways soon. We can hardly wait.

  • SA_Cric69 on March 6, 2014, 16:16 GMT

    I think Aus took their desperation a little too far but once again they get away with it because everyone is so used to Aussie teams of the past doing the same thing and having a win at all cost attitude that it slips past the cracks. If SA did the same thing, people would be going on about smith being a disgrace. It's strange how Aus always try bend the rules and make a scene when they're in a tough spot. Say what you want but it just doesn't make them a like-able bunch. The sad thing is that i thought this newer bunch were a bit different from the Aus players of old like ponting, Mcgrath, etc who used to sledge relentlessly and act like school kids but now it seems this team has taken to do doing the same thing.

  • Vishnu27 on March 6, 2014, 14:39 GMT

    orangtan: then why do you assume mine to be a pseudonym? I was merely utilising the names of a few regular Australian contributors here to illustrate my point. Jonesy is a derivation of the surname Jones.

  • orangtan on March 6, 2014, 14:14 GMT

    @Vishnu27, not at all, support whoever you want. Jonesy is a name or a nickname, enlighten us.

  • on March 9, 2014, 7:17 GMT

    This is Clarke's modus operandi; it's how he goes about doing things. Win - at any cost - and then say oh I am SO sorry for that! afterwards. You can see he clearly gets a kick out of it. Because he hasn't evolved from schoolyard bully and is why he is universally disliked so much. He still has a long, long way to grow up yet.

  • CricketFanIndUS on March 9, 2014, 1:07 GMT

    A spitting, cussing, expletive laden ranting Steyn on Satellite TV world wide . . comes right into my family room on the big screen on HD . . . for impressionable children to see it clearly. . . . . good role model for our future generation. No wonder he got that reaction from Michael Clarke . . .the other SA players did not elicit that from Clarke on his admittedly bad day, did they?

  • on March 8, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    For the record, I'm a diehard SA fanatical passionate crazy supporter. My 2cents is that I admire each team equally for a tremendous battle of nerve, courage, determination, endurance and even for showing their testosterone. Each team battled as in war! Where in war is there seriously place for kind words? BUT in the truest sportsmanship manner which is honestly the reserve of this great GAME, these brave warriors showed their class and dignity by reconciling when the time came. If ordinary people could behave like this more often, perhaps the world would be a better place to live. I take my hat off to Michael and his boys AND Smith and his boys. These are indeed the 2 finest cricketing teams in the world, not wishing to exclude the many exemplary gentlemen who bring the true cricket lover great joy and peace every time they take to the field.

  • Jagger on March 8, 2014, 1:48 GMT

    Thosar, does anything come out of your brain other than bile? We are proud to have beaten the English and South Africans, when all the experts said we couldn't. You forget about what Steve Waugh and many, many other Australians have done for the poor and downtrodden of India? Normal mums and dads donate their hard earned money to India to help some poor kid to smile and have done it purely for altruistic and generous reasons only. There is no need for your comments and the minor issue you speak of has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. Those 'old people' just beat England 5-nil and the number 1 ranked team at home. The same 'old people' are ranked number 2 in the world. "This will stop very soon" - when? Tell us when.

  • on March 7, 2014, 18:24 GMT

    dnt ever mess up with styn he will fire at u

  • gimme-a-greentop on March 7, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    Clarke had the decency and dignity to apologise for what he felt was going too far. No mention of the howling at Faf like dogs (which I suspect was Warner - correct me if I'm wrong). The league cricketers I umpire would be embarrassed about that. Childish. Faf shouldn't have said that either but the reaction was worse.

  • thozar on March 7, 2014, 2:36 GMT

    Pathetic behavior from Clarke. There is no use feeling sorry after committing mistake, you should not do it in the first place. I doubt if he would have said sorry had Oz lost or drawn the test. Aussies, first learn some sportsmanship. You have to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat. Especially for this generation Aussies, there is the perfect role model of a cricketer in Sachin. Now here is a man who was feared and respected by the opposition because he let his bat talk not his mouth. Clarke can never emulate the little master with the bat but it looks like he is even behind when it comes to behavior. Believe it or not, this Aussie team full of old people who will start losing very soon. Momentum plays a big part in this sport. The Aussies thumped their arch rivals at home and carried that momentum to RSA where they have always done well. This will stop very soon. It is going to be fun to see the Aussies return to losing ways soon. We can hardly wait.

  • SA_Cric69 on March 6, 2014, 16:16 GMT

    I think Aus took their desperation a little too far but once again they get away with it because everyone is so used to Aussie teams of the past doing the same thing and having a win at all cost attitude that it slips past the cracks. If SA did the same thing, people would be going on about smith being a disgrace. It's strange how Aus always try bend the rules and make a scene when they're in a tough spot. Say what you want but it just doesn't make them a like-able bunch. The sad thing is that i thought this newer bunch were a bit different from the Aus players of old like ponting, Mcgrath, etc who used to sledge relentlessly and act like school kids but now it seems this team has taken to do doing the same thing.

  • Vishnu27 on March 6, 2014, 14:39 GMT

    orangtan: then why do you assume mine to be a pseudonym? I was merely utilising the names of a few regular Australian contributors here to illustrate my point. Jonesy is a derivation of the surname Jones.

  • orangtan on March 6, 2014, 14:14 GMT

    @Vishnu27, not at all, support whoever you want. Jonesy is a name or a nickname, enlighten us.

  • NWorsn on March 6, 2014, 14:01 GMT

    I loved watching the fifth day, it was brilliant cricket. Nothing like seeing two hard, tough teams going head-to-head, and then acknowledging each other's efforts after the game. More of this please--why isn't this a five test series!?

  • on March 6, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    @dunger.bob: "won't be taking a backward step wherever India is concerned from this day forward". Really? So you want to say you started this today? I have seen your comments from quite some time where anything Indian do not get digested easily by you. And that is not constructive criticism but just plain hatred. We have fickle fans on our side, you are just trying to emulate them. Just chill and enjoy the cricket.

  • on March 6, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    After 20 years of playing the game, and now being a badged umpire of the game, many of the things i saw in this test match were nothing new at all to me. Many times in the heat of a moment as an umpire i have had to caution players and step in between them and make the game resume. Most of these times it was between people who were actual friends off the field. This is cricket, it is a highly competitive sport. Yes Clarke went too far, he was cautioned by umpire Daar and the game moved on. He was also man enough to apologise for it after the match. If he is penalised by the ICC then so be it, he deserves it. As for the cricket itself.. over the 3 games, all i can really say about it is WOW.. i want more

  • Webba84 on March 6, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    @heathrf1974 And is that not exactly what he has done here? Why are you talking like he hasnt?

  • pratit on March 6, 2014, 12:20 GMT

    This is what test cricket should be like. Hard, tough but fair. Ultimately it is about respect and satisfaction. That is why the current Indian players are so bad at it. Here money is everything, respect is an unheard concept.

  • Vishnu27 on March 6, 2014, 12:14 GMT

    Rajeshj: are you serious??? Taylor, Waugh & Ponting "would not directly indulge in..." sledging??? You must be kidding, surely...

  • orangtan on March 6, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    @Jagger, your choice of words sums you up but neither you nor dunger.bob is representative of the average Australian fan who plays fair dinkum.

  • Vishnu27 on March 6, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    orangtan: do you actually think everyone in Australia is called Chris, Bob or Jonesy? Or that someone with a name such as mine should not support Australia? Get real. I'm an Aussie & proud of it.

  • Happiness_is on March 6, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    Bless you all for your passion. Let us not lose sight of the fact this has been an amazing series.

  • heathrf1974 on March 6, 2014, 11:34 GMT

    When sledging becomes abuse it is wrong, plain and simple. Clarke as a captain should know better and pull his head in. He should cop a 50% match fee fine.

  • pull_shot on March 6, 2014, 11:28 GMT

    every body has seen them crying in england for broad not walking but after 2 series wins there behavior is back but after 2015 wc lets c how they play with out clarke,harris,rogers,watson(i don't think he will stay in team),haddin

  • Jagger on March 6, 2014, 11:26 GMT

    @ orangtan - Who made you lord over everyone? dunger.bob is entitled to express his views and they passed moderation. The world is not a place where you can tell him what to say, what to think. It is a much, much better place than that. Suck it up, bossman.

    @ Rajeshj - as above. Once again, your holier than thou attitude is disturbing.

    I thought the game was played hard, but fair. Anything less than what we have seen would have been unacceptable. That's our sporting culture and we'll keep it that way.

  • orangtan on March 6, 2014, 10:48 GMT

    @Vishnu27, I like your pseudonym, agree that Hayden, Warne and McGrath were not shrinking violets but they were not the snarling bunch typified by Warner and Pattinson, while Clarke has adroitly stoked the fires in 2 series, against Anderson in Brisbane, now against Steyn. All this doesn't take away from Australia's overwhelming superiority in the last 2 series and they may well win the ICC T20 , a piece of silverware missing from their display cabinet. As for India, they don't merit any comment they keep lurching from disaster to disaster and don't seem to care with IPL as a sinecure.

  • orangtan on March 6, 2014, 10:34 GMT

    @dunger.bob your remarks have crossed the line, such hate and rancour should not be allowed on public fora. This is not a defence of the Indian team, which is still plummeting, and may well be whitewashed 5-0 by hapless England in the summer.... the first time since 1959 that the Indians are playing a 5-Test series, and for the record they lost that 5-0.

  • on March 6, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    Oh the drivel of the sanctimonious. We won, South Africa lost and India is no longer number 2.

  • Rajeshj on March 6, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    Steyn was already a broken man physically and in order to get him out, the Aussies have conducted themselves in the most pathetic manner.. Clarke appears to be the most ugliest captains ever witnessed recently.. I was sincerely hoping for SA to hold up for a draw and I knew they would, if Steyn was at the crease.. The minute I saw this animated discussion (sledging) by an Australian captain himself, I knew Steyn would lose his temper and his wicket.. I have seen Aussie players sledging, but the captains (Taylor or Waugh or Ponting) would not directly indulge in it.. not like what Clarke did in his desperation... Shameless stuff from the Aussie captain..

  • Mindmeld on March 6, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    Jaffa79, almost every post you write is a whinge, so it puzzles me why you are berating others for it. Maybe you should stop focussing on other people's faults and just enjoy the cricket for a change.

    Nice to see the usual motley crew rock up here to complain about Australia's behaviour after they win. I do believe that there are two umpires on the field and they are a bit closer to the action than you armchair critics. I'll trust them any day to police the game over you axe-grinding, morally superior whingers.

  • sathwik99 on March 6, 2014, 9:42 GMT

    In my opinion, Illingworth was correct in overruling the onfield decision. The outrageous behaviour of Clarke do not elevate his status. Bowling the final overs of the Sydneytest, he got a marginal lbw decision in his favour and Clarke has no qualms about all these things. These Aussies cricketers forget that the whole world is watching their behaviour and analysing their character. Clarke should learn from the legends of the game like Kallis Lara Dravid vvs Tendulkar, that people should be talking about his human attributes apart from his achievement as a batsman when he calls it quits

  • Vishnu27 on March 6, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    Jairam Amrith: do actually think Warner will care one iota? A snowflake's chance in hell he will. He'll thrive on it & be smiling all the way to the bank for the easiest six week pay cheque he'll ever take home. For the record Matthew Hayden, Warne & McGrath were no saints. Even Huss & Long-Tom could throw a barb when required. Team India has embraced such tactics with great passion & gusto. People in glasshouses...

  • Rooboy on March 6, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    @cloudmess - great to know you think Aus are an ordinary team. Let me guess, you would have also predicted Aus to lose the Ashes and that they would get smashed this series? That's the trouble with this site, too many people making parochial, often idiotic, 'predictions', with no accountability

  • pat_one_back on March 6, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    Funny how everyone thinks their team are angels. Not defending Clarke (nor is he himself) but this high & mighty criticism, Steyn did his lolly v India just weeks ago from recollection? You don't need to speak Africaans to know SA are not merely sharing pleasantries, the chirp is constant both ways, these are professional sportsman many fighting pain, all fighting for their country, career & families. We can all be nostalgic for the ways of the amateur game but times have changed, no need to get on the high horse and be all self righteous about an individual or team when the issue is systemic.

  • dunger.bob on March 6, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    @ Dinesh Kanwar: If you can't figure it out I'm not going to try to explain it. Suffice to say I've had enough and won't be taking a backward step wherever India is concerned from this day forward. You have been warned.

  • dinosaurus on March 6, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    Australia is serving a vital role in the development of "funny rules". After India's decision not to use the DRS, the umpires developed the tactic of reviewing Australia's dismissals for possible no-balls (the DRS you can have when you don't have the DRS). Now they do it most of the time, often when there is an embarrassing improbability of an umpire who looked at the bowler ever needing to check if it was a no-ball. And now in the fourth innings of the final test we get the umpires querying what has been standard practice on throwing in. And then the Philander reversal, abandoning the protocol to advantage SA. It's a wonder the umpire didn't ask for the match ball (like Billy in 2005).

  • on March 6, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    @dunger.bob, why this hate for India? I know some of my fellow fans makes irrelevant comments but you are just trying to match them. Is it? We are going through a rough patch and most of sane Indian fans know that. Aus played good cricket, better than SA and they deserve victory, but that does not mean making fun of other teams. By next year, Haddin, Rogers, Harris maybe even Clark would have gone. You have bowlers in plenty but batters you will be left with guys like 20-30 each inning Doolan, 0,1,3,0,2,0,150,0,3,2 Shaun Marsh and pad before bat Watto.

  • cloudmess on March 6, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    A pity Australia have this way of being just as graceless during imminent victory as imminent defeat. They've done really well in the past 4 month. But I'm not sure this is a real return to greatness. One man has simply found his confidence and potential, but Mitchell Johnson is also nearing the end of his career - and without him suspect Australia are still an ordinary team. Even the other players who have done well recently will have it tougher without Johnson. Warner will have to start scoring centuries without a 200-run 1st innings lead and in much more pressurised situations.

  • vatsap on March 6, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    In Vadivelu style, Clarke romba nallavan appa. Would have been interesting to see his reaction if Aussie lost.

    But what a series, if only Steyn had been fit. Aussies truly well played and SAFers fought hard. Bad run of form from the SA top order. Also SAF bowling looks so one dimensional without Steyn.

  • Drew2 on March 6, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    @Jairam Amrith - you'll have plenty more salt for the wounds next Australian summer when India face Australia on pitches that bounce.

  • becoming_enoch on March 6, 2014, 7:56 GMT

    @Kirstenfan - disgrace as a human being? That's a ridiculous assessment, don't you think? He's a bit vocal and he's started to temper that behaviour, after a few mistakes.

    @Patchmaster - I'll be a whinging angry little man if I could have 27 test centuries under my belt.

  • on March 6, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    It's really silly to sledge someone with a bat in his hand. One day there will be trouble on the field... after all you can only push people so far.

  • dunger.bob on March 6, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    @ Jairam Amrith : As opposed to the gentlemanly Indians who simply hijacked the entire game to get their way. Yeah, that's real classy.

  • BigHoss on March 6, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    So Seether1, let me get this straight. Neither South Africa or Australia is number one. And to be the best you have to win everywhere, which obviously rules India out. Not sure if you saw it but England didn't do so well in Australia. And I know you'd never put Pakistan as number one. So who actually is the best team in the world, in your mind anyway?

  • Gamla on March 6, 2014, 7:39 GMT

    Well played Ozzy... respect? nah...don't think so, you leave to much mongrel out there...

  • ThreePIllarTales on March 6, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    @Singh1699.....we'll swap your Morkel for our Watson ! That way you get a rollicking all rounder capable of 145 kph and stays at the crease! If we did not have Patto, Cummins and Starc in the waiting room then I'd pick Morkel if he's Oz ! He showed heart and fire this time. Reckon he's been stuffed up by the Safa brains trust for too long on the line and length BS. Let the lion roar and the crocodile snap !

  • dunger.bob on March 6, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    @ Seether1: If the Aussies aren't #1 and neither is South Africa, who is? .. Let me guess, it's India. Okey dokey. I'm going to jump into my spaceship carved out of a pumpkin fly off to the moon.

  • StKilda1966 on March 6, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    @ Arvind Sharma - so because two Indian U19 players were severely reprimanded for sledging at the World Cup, you expect there to be fines and bans as a result of this encounter? Are you suggesting that Indians deserve to be treated more leniently than Aussies or Saffers? Surely harsher penalties should be applied on the way up and some leeway given at the very top level given the pressure etc at that level? Very curious leap of logic there...

  • on March 6, 2014, 6:34 GMT

    So, Warner is a howler is he, I hope the Indian fans at IPL howl at him relentlessly.The two umpires, both nice guys, let the Aussies get away with blue murder yesterday, and I do not for one moment believe that the Pattinson beamer was not deliberate. How is it that the same team which has such gentlemen like Hussey, Hayden, Moody, even Warne and McGrath, now howls and sledges a la Warner and Pattinson backed by cherubic Pup and crafty haddin

  • millsy24 on March 6, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    I see everyone is assuming that Steyn played absolutely no part in this? Du Plessis called them a pack of rabid dogs or something to that effect. What Clarke should have done was appealed to the umps when Du Plessis handled the ball and he would have been given out, but Clarke is too decent to do that. Du Plessis had absolutely no right to put his sweaty gloves on the ball now did he? Accident do you think? Being nice do you think? He has form on the board no matter what anyone says and the Aussie's had every right to have a go at him for handling their ball.

  • millsy24 on March 6, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    PrasPunter, looking at the CA website today, one of the main reasons he delayed the declaration was because Harris could hardly walk, let alone run. His hip and knee had gone and needed treatment. He had fluid drained out of his knee and lots of physio on his hip as well. Clarke had been told it was likely he would not even be able to bowl. Johnson had already bowled way more than anyone else, so if they were another bowler down we would have been in big trouble.

  • Vostok_1 on March 6, 2014, 6:26 GMT

    Sour grapes all round from the Saffer and Indian supporters. You're hardly saints yourselves. Clarke is a leader and he is simply sticking up for his teammate. Admittedly, he went too far, but at least he had the courage to admit that and move on. You all should too. I'm proud to have him as the Captain of my national team.

  • on March 6, 2014, 6:24 GMT

    it was all started by Aus, the mental disintegration thing. Banter used to happen earlier too. But it was never way out of mark. Steve Waugh and the team started a trend other followed and now we see players like Virat, Warner shooting their mouth every now & then and wasting energy if they put on their skills become more better than what they already are. Day is not far when we will see players get physical. Sub continental teams, players are very sensitive about some family relations (mother, sisters) and something on such lines is going to get things in trouble. Clarke apologized, good, he is a man of character and I respect him for that. But he should be penalized for being a leader and rather than stopping, getting involved in it and giving a wrong message to a 13-15 years old young another Warner or Virat.

  • Seether1 on March 6, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    Firstly, congrats to the Aussies on a great series win. However there is not much difference between the sides. However on slower lower tracks we are definitely better, as the PE result shows. Also SA have never been blanked out in India, as the Aussies have. So please explain how they can now be the best team in the world? Let rather reserve judgement until the tour India and the UAE. To be the best you have to win everywhere. Granted SA are no longer the best in the world, but neither are the Aussies, yet.

  • on March 6, 2014, 5:51 GMT

    Clarke has the habit of riling everyone around.. If he is cheeky and the other man is provoked, it results in the other man's ban or fine or whatever.. Aussies have generally been good at this.. Now that they were provoked and Clarke had an outburst, cannot see why his fees have not been docked or a match ban is in place..

  • switchmitch on March 6, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    Running off mouths on the cricket field CANNOT be passed off as "Passionate and Competitive" behavior. These guys are setting rotten examples to the younger generation players. Apologizing AFTER the game is over may be acceptable to these players but the fans who don't see that lovable trait, are left with a sour taste. It is not just Australia anymore, every team has players who think "passionate" = "mouth work". We don't see Hashim Amla doing any of these antics. Is he not passionate? Rahul Dravid was the most aggressive Indian Captain, who once declared the innings with Tendulkar on the verge of a milestone (risking the combined wrath of an entire nation). He never sledged in his career and yet was aggressive. Players like these should speak up against this stupid practice. Otherwise, kids will think that Michael Clarke, Virat Kohli, Warner types of attitude is the right way to play the game...

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on March 6, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    It is part of the game ,,,,.especially for The Australian .........but the most and MOST POOR LINK for SA is MORKEL ,he never spent some time on crease to save the time and his bowling is below down A Zimbabwean player .He must be dropped right now ,today ...

  • SachinIsAGoner on March 6, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    @kirstenfan, you talk about Warner being a man of disgrace, is it? And you come from Cronje's land, what an irony!

  • SachinIsAGoner on March 6, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    Accept it with Grace. You should have guts to seek apology, there is nothing wrong in it. Only holy saints do not cross over their lines (these days they too are prone). And the relevant context here is Aussies are the best in Cricket with their current form. Period.

  • dunger.bob on March 6, 2014, 5:28 GMT

    @ ryanalex: Thanks for those kind words mate. We love you too.

    By the way. Does anyone know what was actually said? What did Steyn say to Pattinson? Pattinson to Steyn?. Clarke to Pattison? Steyn to Clarke? Warne to the nice looking blonde in the second row? .. Does anyone know what really went on? .. It usually takes two to Tango you know.

  • PrasPunter on March 6, 2014, 4:49 GMT

    The overturn decision was a poor one !! The replays weren't conclusive at all and I had a feeling that he had some part of that glove touching the bat. Fortunately Rhino saved the blushes for Clarke for what would have gone down as a rank-bad decision to delay the declaration the previous day.

  • ShutTheGate on March 6, 2014, 4:48 GMT

    I can't believe so many are appalled by their behaviour. Most professional sports have a similar behaviours. Imagine if they mic'd up the breakdown in rugby!

    And it's nothing new in the sport - ever head of W.G Grace refusing to walk off after being given out?

  • SoyQuearns on March 6, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    To all the selective and/or ignorant masses on these forums, who deride Australia as the only team in the world to sledge, I ask you to watch closer or at least with more than your eye-oned vision allows.

    All teams sledge, there is big money and big impact to winning and losing these days, nobody is above it. GC Smith has a good yarn at times, Virat Kohli never shuts his mouth (he's my favourite player, but it is a fact nonetheless) and Broad, Anderson and Swann chirp all day long.

    And yet, because it is easy and fashionable and lazy and convenient to do so, Australia is the only team derided for these antics that all teams engage upon.

    That England are more boring than paint drying doesn't mean they don't engage. That NZ are very polite gents doesn't mean they don't get passionate and have a word, it is great for the game and, as we saw, Steyn was more than happy to have a word back, but MOST importantly, graciously accept apology despite the defeat.

    Stop being so selective/biased

  • sramesh_74 on March 6, 2014, 4:35 GMT

    If folks are expecting gentlemanly behavior from the Aussies, they must be from another planet. Sledging, howling, expletives are the Aussie way of playing hard and fair!!

  • Great_Nate on March 6, 2014, 4:19 GMT

    @Shutthegate, the stump mics were left on in the radio coverage. I thought that was supposed to be against agreements with the players.

  • austentayshus on March 6, 2014, 4:12 GMT

    not good behavior at all by Oz .. Shambolic

  • Blythesville on March 6, 2014, 3:58 GMT

    Nice beamer by Pattinson. Based on Clarke's approach, every team should be allowed one per innings.

  • valvolux on March 6, 2014, 3:02 GMT

    It was pretty heated after that decision. In my opinion there was insufficient evidence to over turn the decision, we've seen decisions like that go in favor of the bowlers at crucial times (2nd test 2005) and quite frankly, a guy shouldn't be gloving a ball with his hand off the bat - isn't that handling the ball? In terms of reverse swing, there's still zero doubt from my end that any team who gets it reversing is pushing the limits of ball management. What I dont understand is, how are lollipops from warner in the out field at 50kmph landing on the pitch suppose to scuff the ball up more than 150kmph thunderbolts from Johnson? I think England summed it up best in 2005 - you need dry conditions, and pitches you need to bowl with a scrambled seam with the new ball, you need to throw it in on the bounce, and you need to modify the shiny side so it doesn't scuff up as much. Whether SA and Oz used lollies, I dont know...but I'm guessing they both were up to something.

  • on March 6, 2014, 2:51 GMT

    What sort of impression is Michael Clarke setting to the thousands of young cricketers watching his every move around Australia? And why is he the only test captain to regularly have to apologise over his actions? Playing aggressive, emotive cricket is fine - every test team does, but only he oversteps the line. A captain should not be setting that example, period.

  • PakRage on March 6, 2014, 2:50 GMT

    First you cross the line, as per the plan, and then apologize, as per the plan, dare I say.

  • twomarktwo on March 6, 2014, 2:46 GMT

    Australia are currently the best team in the world, they have proved it in this series. Warner, Harris, Johnson absolutely brilliant performances.

    But their players and team management should be embarrassed by their comments and behaviour.

  • Rufus_Fuddleduck on March 6, 2014, 2:12 GMT

    Clarke's grace - substantially different from his predecessors - has been touted as effiminate so many times that he has had to resort to ugly behaviour as a badge for being manly. Now, speaking as a victor, he can afford to apologise without being snickered at. Good for you Clarke. Nice to see a bit of civilisation in cricket now and then. And of course, congrats on the hard-earned victory.

  • camcove on March 6, 2014, 0:49 GMT

    The obvious mutual respect shown at the end of the game by Clarke and Steyn, and then MJ and Steyn, was great to see. I've always admired the Saffer quicks for their sheer quality, also for their temperaments. They seem nice blokes. (It's a pity that Steyn has taken a leaf out of the how to look like a plonker book created by the likes of Flintoff and Lee when he celebrates a wicket). Great series. I don't think there is any doubt that on Aussie or SA surfaces at least, these are the best two test sides. The Saffers have a seriously good record in places like India, which Australia doesn't. (Understatement)! SA now in rebuild mode, which we Aussies will be going forward. Going forward, Cummins, Starc, Faulkner, Nevill, Carters, Lynn, Hughes, SOK, the three young leggies, Agar, Coulter-Nile, Head - blokes such as these have to step up as the older guys reach their career ends. The Saffers have a powerful nucleus and some good youngsters as well. Thanks for the fantastic series.

  • andrew-schulz on March 6, 2014, 0:17 GMT

    'Near the zipper?' It was on the zipper. Far has no credibility and can say nothing in this whole debate. And the umpires cannot prevent the players from throwing the ball in any way they want. Bounce throws are essential as the sun gets low in the sky. Some of the intervention by Dar and Dharmasena has been ridiculous.

  • indianzen on March 6, 2014, 0:00 GMT

    Aussies back on track as usual, sledging... But I respect Harris and the way he kept bowling... A series lose for SA at Home means that they are not the No1 team at the moment...

  • ShutTheGate on March 5, 2014, 23:35 GMT

    I wish they would turn up the stump mic's. I'd love to hear this banter as it happens.

  • jkaussie on March 5, 2014, 23:20 GMT

    I've loved this series! Yes, we won it which is amazing but the theatre, the fire, the incredible individual efforts, the drama, the emotion!! WOW!! AB, Duminy, Faf and Dale Steyn - kudos to you guys in particular. Warner, Mitch, Pup and Smithy - same to you Ryano - incredible. Very fitting this went down to the wire! And fantastic to see the passion, followed by all players socialising and chatting afterwards - well done to both sides!

  • disco_bob on March 5, 2014, 22:28 GMT

    Oh boy is this article asking for an absolute tsunami of whinging from the SA supporters bitter at being well and truly outplayed or what? Only a few mind, most cricket lovers will laugh at the beat up in this story and be glad they saw a passionate and highly charged game.

    Having said that, the Philander non dismissal that was overturned was overturned incorrectly because the ball hit the thumb and even though the hand did appear to be off the bat, the back of the hand was touching the bat and that is good enough but due to the superhuman effort of Ryan Harris, this bit of controversy is a non issue.

  • ricflairforlife on March 5, 2014, 22:12 GMT

    I wonder if Clarke would have been as apologetic had the test ended in a draw.

  • Jaffa79 on March 5, 2014, 21:45 GMT

    I wonder if those same whinging Aussies who bleated on here about the South Africans and their use of the ball will similarly berate their team? Hmm, perhaps not! I am sure that the second Test whine can be filed in the same draw as the crying about Indian pitches, DRS in England and the hilariously ironic vilification of Broad for not not walking.

  • on March 5, 2014, 21:25 GMT

    I wish this passion was shown by Indian players as well while playing the game for the nation. Clarke may have been over the line in the eyes of some people but he wanted to win and in the heat of things lost his control. You can call it banter but he did apologize and thats what matters. Australia have come a long way since 2013 - they are a team on the rise - and then have shown with this victory that they can win abroad against the Number 1 Team in the world. Good Luck to Clarke.

  • on March 5, 2014, 21:02 GMT

    We watched most of the cricket & it was good except for the Du Plessis incident. You can try & sugar coat it as much as you like but it was the most embarrissing display I have seen for a long time about 4 Australians including Warner making like gutteral Ugh ugh noises like an ape, they must have known it was wrong because they looked sheepish when they realised that the camera's were on them, but we had seen quite enough by then. Also they constantly sledge, it's not banter it's nasty viscous stuff you can see that from their faces & no one does anything about it not the upires or anyone. I just don't see the need to have this nasty verbal abuse throughout a game of cricket.It's supposed to be a gentlemens game, whats gentlemanly about spewing vile constantly.

  • ryanalex on March 5, 2014, 20:47 GMT

    I felt strongly enough about wanting to comment on the just completed SA/AUS third test that I signed up to do so. Well done to Oz for the series win but that's where the congrats from me end. I just can't shake the strong feeling i have that the spirit in which the Australians are playing this great game is one you would expect to see in a prison yard amongst a whole bunch of inmates. With stump microphones on volume cricket becomes PG viewing with these guys playing. It is no surprise that Warner is blossoming in the environment Lehman has created as Lehman has wilfully dropped the class and behaviour levels - its "the Australian way" of course! As a Saffer supporter I am disappointed not so much with the loss but rather with the fact that the Saffer players are still prepared to be chummy with this crass, childish and disrespectful lot once the game is over. All I can hope is that Smith did not taint his last evening as a test play having to many beers with these guys.

  • Rajsrimaan on March 5, 2014, 20:24 GMT

    All I can say, if this is how a team wins, I wonder if it is at all worth it. May be the authorities have to lay down and implement a strict code of behaviour, as they did in tennis after Johnny Mac's antics started eclipsing even his talent.

  • on March 5, 2014, 20:24 GMT

    Clarke must show some sportsmanship and break the trend of immature Australian captains fighting oppositions and umpires if things don't go their way. But what can be expected from warnie's buddy.

  • Doogius on March 5, 2014, 20:22 GMT

    Great test, great win. Pity, once again, that poor behaviour takes the gloss off. Watching the news here in Oz, half is devoted to the cricket and the other half to Clarke carrying on (again). If it isn't Haddin and Warner barking like a dog (disgraceful, Faf was right the other day), its Clarke mouthing off and throwing the finger around like he can actually handle himself. His excuse is priceless. Just told my 8 yr old to put away his computer games, after his crying and tantrums died down, he told me that he didn't get a decision from his parents and that I'd caught him at a bad time in the game. Think it says it all really...

  • on March 5, 2014, 20:18 GMT

    Steyn of all people should not complain, given how he gives to batsmen all over the world and then demands respect for it.

  • steve48 on March 5, 2014, 20:17 GMT

    I have to say, I think ball tampering is wrong, but why is throwing the ball in on the bounce considered ball tampering? So long as it is on its way to the stumps at either end, I think it should be perfectly legitimate. How about banning players from eating sweets to help with ball shining then? With throwing in, nobody can ensure which side of the ball hits the deck, so it is quite a drawn out process to see which side has been landed on most! To me, just another one of cricket's mysterious taboos, as is the bowler running out the non striker and claiming a false catch is worse than not walking when you have nicked it! As for the confrontations, great theatre so long as umpires know when to step in and are respected when they do.

  • on March 5, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    This series bore attributes of pure test cricket, it had all the ingredients in it. Great to watch such exchanges in the field and at the end of the match see them have beers together. Now that's cricket!

  • on March 5, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    australia head and shoulders above the rest but SA still hold on to the no 1 spot. what a stupid ranking system.

  • Arsal07 on March 5, 2014, 20:09 GMT

    Just leave it. Its a part of the game. Both nations are great cricket lovers, and both teams are just great. They give us a outstanding show in this series, just let it be a part of the past. Good luck both teams for the upcoming matches. From a pakistani fan

  • SurlyCynic on March 5, 2014, 19:57 GMT

    Well done Australia, deserved winners. Great series to watch. As an SA supporter I'm obviously disappointed with the performance this test but at least they showed some fight today. Close to saving it but can't argue with the result.

    For my fellow SA supporters who are mentioning things like injured bowlers, reverse swing after 18 overs, bowling conditions - we didn't enjoy it when Aus fans brought up stuff like this after the 2012 series or the PE test so let's not go there.

    Congrats again to Aus on a hard-fought series which was a good advert for test cricket.

  • Patchmaster on March 5, 2014, 19:48 GMT

    This pretty much happens every test match with Clarke - yet he never gets punished. It was the same in the Ashes and the same here. He's a whinging little angry man.

  • amumtaz on March 5, 2014, 19:40 GMT

    Cricket does not need such banter. Its out of line. If this is how top teams play, its really pathetic.

  • on March 5, 2014, 19:37 GMT

    All in all much less as to the general standards of aussies...

  • on March 5, 2014, 19:29 GMT

    What a fantastic Micheal Clark is, he over steped the line. for saying something to a other player. If he would of lose the game it would be a different matter

  • Kirstenfan on March 5, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    David Warner may have been man of the series, but he is a disgrace as a human being. Good on Clarke for admitting that he was completely out of line, so absolute bleak that we lost to Aus.

  • Divinetouch on March 5, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    Why is it that whenever there is nastiness in cricket one of the two teams involved in the game is either Australia or England?

    Naturally, it is at its crescendo when they are playing against each other.

  • on March 5, 2014, 19:08 GMT

    Fines and bans coming I hope. Particularly after seeing two Indian U19 players severely reprimanded at the world cup for sledging. I dont expect justice to be delivered though and the logic will be ...the Australians and Proteas are fully entitled to their behaviour since they play hard... its in the heat of the battle... that is their culture. Same game, different rules.

  • on March 5, 2014, 19:08 GMT

    Fines and bans coming I hope. Particularly after seeing two Indian U19 players severely reprimanded at the world cup for sledging. I dont expect justice to be delivered though and the logic will be ...the Australians and Proteas are fully entitled to their behaviour since they play hard... its in the heat of the battle... that is their culture. Same game, different rules.

  • AshesErnie on March 5, 2014, 19:01 GMT

    Australia's behaviour seriously marred a great day's Test cricket. Pattinson's beamer aside, Clarke, Warner and others were way over the top in getting at du Plessis, Philander and Steyn. Most seriously, they appeared to be disputing umpires' decisions, esp the Philander not out. Like Ponting all over again. They may be decent cricketers and they won the match but they lost respect and dignity.

  • on March 5, 2014, 18:58 GMT

    great sporting spirit man ,luv u pup

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on March 5, 2014, 18:58 GMT

    great sporting spirit man ,luv u pup

  • AshesErnie on March 5, 2014, 19:01 GMT

    Australia's behaviour seriously marred a great day's Test cricket. Pattinson's beamer aside, Clarke, Warner and others were way over the top in getting at du Plessis, Philander and Steyn. Most seriously, they appeared to be disputing umpires' decisions, esp the Philander not out. Like Ponting all over again. They may be decent cricketers and they won the match but they lost respect and dignity.

  • on March 5, 2014, 19:08 GMT

    Fines and bans coming I hope. Particularly after seeing two Indian U19 players severely reprimanded at the world cup for sledging. I dont expect justice to be delivered though and the logic will be ...the Australians and Proteas are fully entitled to their behaviour since they play hard... its in the heat of the battle... that is their culture. Same game, different rules.

  • on March 5, 2014, 19:08 GMT

    Fines and bans coming I hope. Particularly after seeing two Indian U19 players severely reprimanded at the world cup for sledging. I dont expect justice to be delivered though and the logic will be ...the Australians and Proteas are fully entitled to their behaviour since they play hard... its in the heat of the battle... that is their culture. Same game, different rules.

  • Divinetouch on March 5, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    Why is it that whenever there is nastiness in cricket one of the two teams involved in the game is either Australia or England?

    Naturally, it is at its crescendo when they are playing against each other.

  • Kirstenfan on March 5, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    David Warner may have been man of the series, but he is a disgrace as a human being. Good on Clarke for admitting that he was completely out of line, so absolute bleak that we lost to Aus.

  • on March 5, 2014, 19:29 GMT

    What a fantastic Micheal Clark is, he over steped the line. for saying something to a other player. If he would of lose the game it would be a different matter

  • on March 5, 2014, 19:37 GMT

    All in all much less as to the general standards of aussies...

  • amumtaz on March 5, 2014, 19:40 GMT

    Cricket does not need such banter. Its out of line. If this is how top teams play, its really pathetic.

  • Patchmaster on March 5, 2014, 19:48 GMT

    This pretty much happens every test match with Clarke - yet he never gets punished. It was the same in the Ashes and the same here. He's a whinging little angry man.