DURBAN (Reuters) - David Warner will continue as Australia vice-captain despite his involvement in a heated exchange in the first test against South Africa at Kingsmead, an incident which has drawn condemnation and put his fiery personality back in the spotlight.
“He’s vice-captain of the Australian cricket team,” coach Darren Lehmann told reporters as the team prepared to move to Port Elizabeth for the second test after the side claimed the opener of the four-match series by 118 runs on Monday.
“We’re certainly supporting David. We want to play a way that gets us success and for us we’ve just got to make sure we don’t cross the line, that’s the key,” Lehmann added.
“There are things that cross the line and evoke emotion and you’ve got to deal with that behind closed doors and get better at that. Everyone has their own opinion.
“We’ll just wait and see what happens moving forward, how both teams want to play it. For us, we’re here to win the series. It’s going to be a bloody tough series as we’ve seen over the five days here.”
Footage of Warner being restrained by team mates in an off-field fracas with South Africa’s Quinton de Kock on Sunday has been viewed dimly in Australia, and he could yet face ICC sanctions for his part in the ugly incident. [nL4N1QN1SY]
His captain Steve Smith suggested De Kock had enraged the hot-headed left-hander by getting personal in his sledging, the nature of which focussed on Warner’s wife, according to local media reports.
The South African camp retorted that whatever was said was pay back for Warner’s own aggressive sledging of De Kock and other Proteas players out on the field.
Warner was involved in another unsightly incident on the field when he unleashed a withering verbal attack at Aiden Markram after the rookie opening batsman was culpable in running out AB de Villiers in South Africa’s second innings.
“It’s always a worry in any situation when someone is so extreme on one direction or the other,” said former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist of Warner’s volatile personality.
Lehmann expects the captains and coaches from both sides to get together to clear the air before the second test starts at St George’s Park on Friday.
“Both sides are going to push the boundaries. That’s part and parcel of test match cricket,” he added.
Reporting By Mark Gleeson; Editing by John O'Brien