England v Australia, 3rd Investec Test, Old Trafford, 2nd day August 2, 2013

I backed Warner's judgment 100% - Clarke


Michael Clarke has said he backed David Warner's decision to review his dismissal from a thick outside-edge despite telling Warner he thought the ball had made contact with the bat.

Australia's use of the DRS has been poor throughout the series and that continued on the second day at Old Trafford, where Warner brought boos from the crowd when he walked to the crease and further jeers after his ill-judged referral.

The edge off Graeme Swann was deflected off Matt Prior and snapped up at slip, not dissimilar to Stuart Broad's controversial edge and non-walk at Trent Bridge. Clarke was at the non-striker's end when Jonathan Trott completed the catch to dismiss Warner, who had struck his pad with his bat at the same time as the bat hit the ball, apparently confusing his judgement.

"My reaction was, yes, I thought Davey hit it," Clarke said. "But in fairness to Davey, if you have a look at the replay, he actually hit his pad at the same time so he obviously didn't feel the ball hit the bat. We had a little discussion in the middle.

"Let's just say we disagreed, but in saying that, I did say to Davey that I would back his judgement 100%. He was confident he didn't hit it so it was worth a look and I've said before I think that's the way DRS should be used. I think if the batter feels that he didn't hit the ball then his partner should back his judgement."

Acceding to the review could have been dangerous on Clarke's part, because it left Australia at 365 for 5 with no referrals left, and a hefty first-innings score was always going to be necessary on a good batting pitch. As it turned out, Australia didn't need the DRS again, as Clarke compiled 187 - his highest score outside Australia - and Brad Haddin and Mitchell Starc pushed the total to 527 for 7 before the declaration came.

It was also Clarke's first Test century batting at No. 4, a position that he took up in this match after Phillip Hughes was dropped. Despite the success, Clarke said he was unsure if he would remain at second drop in the future or move back to his more usual position at No. 5.

"I got a hundred at No. 4, what a miracle," Clarke joked after play. "I don't know, we'll assess in the second innings let alone the next Test match. The number doesn't bother me. I've been saying it for a while. It's nice though to finally have a hundred batting at No. 4 but I'm not sure.

"I didn't feel that great yesterday or today at the crease. I felt there was enough in the wicket - I played and missed a hell of a lot and had a fair bit of luck. Don't get me wrong, I love the result. It's better than getting zero, that's for sure but I think I'll be able to assess it more if we win the Test match."

Clarke's runs, combined with valuable half-centuries from Chris Rogers, Steven Smith, Haddin and Starc, have at least given Australia a chance of the victory they need to retain any hope of winning the Ashes. The bowlers began well, collecting two England wickets after Clarke declared in the final session, but he said it was important they maintained their patience over the next three days.

"It's not the type of wicket you can force too hard," he said. "You have to build up pressure. The bowlers will have to be exceptionally consistent like they were this afternoon. It is going to take a lot of time to bowl England out. Our bowlers have the discipline. I was pleased with the way Nathan Lyon started today. There was a bit of spin but more importantly there was some bounce there for him as well. He will play a big part in both innings.

"The team should be extremely proud of the position we are in. We copped a bit of criticism after not making enough runs in the first two Test matches and rightly so. The way everybody did their job in the first innings is a credit to all the boys. We have worked exceptionally hard in the lead up to this Test match and it was nice to get the result. There is still a lot of work to do."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jacknife01 on August 3, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    @farkin There's a big difference for me between a wicket keeper going up for an edge, than a batsman who's knocked the cover off the ball like Warner did. Wicket keeper's are sometimes unsighted anyway by the batsman and go off a noise and deviation which is what Prior went up for in Khawaja's case.

  • Tumbarumbar on August 3, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    Picture this if you will. The number six batsman gets 4 decisions in 6 innings (a 3 test series) that are shockers and would have easily been reversed on a DRS review but on each occasion numbers 1 through 5 have used the reviews unsuccessfully on what turn out to be umpire's call dismissals. The number 6 batsman only scores a handful of runs in the series and is dropped. As a result he loses a significant portion of his income. Does he approach the nearest workplace equal opportunities organization and complain that by virtue of his position in the batting order he doesn't have the same chance as his team mates? Does he sue the ICC for not providing fair and equitable work conditions? Does he sue his board for unfair dismissal given he did not have access to the same rights as the batsmen before him? Or does he go the whole hog and sue his team mates

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on August 3, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    Did anyone else see Clarke shake his head at Warner five or six times when they were discussing whether or not to review? Clarke as captain should have made the decision for Warner not to review. But I fear with them being so close Clarke let Warner do it anyway

  • ihaq1 on August 3, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    i think that players continue to humiliate themselves...even though i have not really played cricket even an airbrush by the ball is known and felt by teh batsman...batsman should realize that DRS does nobody any favors...and walk...and anyway just playing warner was a favour too after cowans batting in teh previous match

  • HRK118 on August 3, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    About the review rules, it doesn't make any sense to put a limit of two per team. The whole idea is to ensure correct and just decisions, so how can you cap off the level of 'justice'. Fairness cannot be enforced in a truncated manner. Also, Jono is absolutely right. The purpose of the DRS review is to help the principle of correct decision making, not to save the umpires from embarrassment in a self serving attitude.

  • dummy4fb on August 3, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    I think the players would soon learn not to go for too many frivolous reviews as it just costs too much time, on the upside it may just fix the long term over rate issue, two birds, one review. It might also coax the BCCI out of their corner as the Indians should always be able to keep up with the rate at home.

    On the decision making process, the benefit of the doubt MUST go back to the batsmen. To issue the benefit of the doubt to the Umpire is ridiculous, the Umpires should always have full and complete respect, without question, but I feel at the moment as though they are making it all about themselves, it needs to be about the players and the game, an Umpire that isn't standing out like a sore thumb is an umpire that gets and maintains full respect. An Umpire making decisions based on safeguarding the role of his fellow Umpires is quite ridiculous!

    Further more, the elite panel is too small, how can 10 umpires service 4 matches all played at once? Bring back Rauf and Bowden!

  • Rowayton on August 3, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    I think the simple reason England did not review Bresnan's is you don't take even a small risk for a number 8 when you still have all your main batsmen to go. Bad luck Bresnan, you want to get the right to seek reviews you'd better start averaging 45. And is there a wicketkeeper out there who can tell me why so many balls are coming off the keeper's legs? Surely they should be catching them, it's not as if the ball is going downwards - are they coming up out of the crouch too soon?

  • dummy4fb on August 3, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    @Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 3, 2013, 4:57 GMT) Jmc, that is a view I would share, lets face it, the need to review dismissals probably only pops up a couple of times every innings in any case, quite a few of these will already have been reversed decisions via review in any case. The time lost by reviewing all out decisions would be very minor. I think this would be much fairer on batsmen who will always find it hard to be objective and there is just two of them out there to come to a decision.

    My proposal for the fielding team would be to allow them either unlimited reviews, or perhaps say up to 5 (in total, regardless of verdict) per innings, but that they would have to maintain the over rate in order to use them. If you are not up with the over rate, then sorry, you can't review it. No allowances for injuries, dismissals etc, make it 14 or 15 overs per hour as your minimum cut off and if you can keep it at that then review all you like. to be continued...

  • GloryDaysReturn on August 3, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    I totally believe Warner thought he'd missed the ball. While batting myself, I've hit the ground at the same time I've edged and would not, for a second, have believed I'd hit it until I saw second slip catch the ball. Still, if Clarke's instinct told him he'd hit it, it would have been wise to send him on his way. The whole scene was rather embarrassing and would only have been made worse for Warner if Joe Root had been the bowler, or slips catcher!

  • farkin on August 3, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    "I backed Warner's judgment 100% - Clarke" Matt Prior got it just as wrong as clarke and warner on UT Khawaja caught behind which just goes to show that all cricketers can get it just as wrong as any one