Aussie sucker punch

2014-02-26 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — David Warner has accused the Proteas of ball tampering.

The Australian opening batsman made the allegation in an interview with Australian radio station Sky Sports Radio.

It follows Australia’s massive collapse on Sunday afternoon to lose the second Test by 231 runs. The Proteas took nine wickets in the final session of the fourth day.

The South African bowlers, led by Dale Steyn, achieved significant reverse swing that the Australians could not cope with.

The Australian seam bowlers, on the other hand, couldn’t swing the ball in the two SA innings.

Warner has mainly pointed the finger at Proteas wicketkeeper AB de Villiers.

“All teams try to do it [alter the condition of one side of the ball legally] but they did it better than us,” Warner said.

“We reckon that every time AB de Villiers got the ball, he rubbed the rougher side on his gloves.

“It’s definitely something we are going to discuss with the umpires,” ESPNcricinfo reported Warner as telling the radio station.

The SA team declined to get involved in a war of words yesterday, saying only that if there are any complaints, the Australians should talk to the umpires.

Warner has gained a reputation as a controversial figure in his short Test career, having punched English player Joe Root in a bar last year.

He was earlier fined by his team after a Twitter outburst.

After the Centurion Test, which SA lost, he said Vernon Philander could only bowl well in his favourite conditions.

It seems clear that Warner is deployed by his team to a wage psycholgical warfare with the opposition, and even if his claims are far-fetched, the umpires are likely to keep a closer eye on Proteas players in this weekend’s third Test in Cape Town, especially after Faf du Plessis was fined half his match fee for roughing up the ball against Pakistan in Dubai by rubbing it on the zip of his pocket.

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