Australia have admitted they were sent into a lather by Faf du Plessis' crafty declaration on the first evening of the Adelaide Test, a call that left Steven Smith and Usman Khawaja fuming as David Warner was unable to take his usual spot as an opener after spending time off the field.
Warner complained of shoulder pain and went for treatment late in South Africa's innings, but upon overhearing that the opener needed to spend a further six minutes on the field, du Plessis closed his innings. "I listened to the conversation he had with the umpires, one ear talking to the batter and one ear listening to him and then I heard he had six minutes left before he could bat again so I thought 'let's have a crack'," du Plessis said.
Warner and Smith both remonstrated with the umpires on their way off the field, with du Plessis' closure the earliest in terms of overs in the first innings of a Test unaffected by bad weather. "He went off for some treatment towards the end and was off for too long," Josh Hazlewood said of Warner. "So they messed their timings up and he couldn't bat straight away. Uzzy had to bat and adapted pretty well and we got through.
"The guys were a little bit annoyed, especially Smithy and probably Uzzy who had to go out and bat, but it's just one of those things. It rarely happens, but it happened today and the way Uzzy adapted to the situation he did a great job for us today."
Hazlewood confirmed it was up to Warner to ensure he was not caught out in this way, and said the team would likely receive an apology from the vice-captain as a result. "It's probably the player himself," he said. "You know the rules and he was just off the field for too long. He'll hold himself accountable, that's how Davey goes, so he'll know he did the wrong thing, apologise to the group and especially Usman, and he'll learn from it and hopefully it won't happen again."
As for du Plessis, Hazlewood could only doff his cap. "I think he might've had a rough idea, yeah," he said. "He's quite cagey like that, pulled the pin and declared and caught us out a little bit."