Australian opener David Warner has received the strong backing of Australia coach Darren Lehmann, who reckons that the deputy skipper will continue his position following his spat with South African gloveman Quinton de Kock.
The Aussies completely outplayed South Africa in the first Test in Durban, but the match has been somewhat bruised by unpleasant incidents including a stairwell altercation between Warner and De Kock.
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The duo clashed when the cricketers left the field for tea on day four at Kingsmead before CCTV footage appeared to show Warner being separated from De Kock. Skipper Steve Smith was among those breaking up the duo and later said that Warner had reacted after De Kock “got personal”.
The ICC has yet to announce any punishment for anyone of the involved in the incident, but in the meantime, Warner has the full backing of Lehmann. When asked if Warner’s position is under threat, Lehmann said: “No, he’s vice-captain of the Australian cricket team. 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.”
He further 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 tough series as we’ve seen over the five days here.”
However, some things are still unclear that who started the confrontation, but Lehmann plans to meet with opposite number Ottis Gibson and urged Smith to follow suit with South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis. He said, “I’m sure the captains will chat and the coaches will chat and we’ll get away to play the game.”
Elaborating his point, Darren said, “Both sides are going to push the boundaries. That’s part and parcel of Test match cricket. It’s a tough game out there and you’re representing your country. Very proud countries, both sides. The way they want to play is fiercely competitive on the ground. As long as it doesn’t get personal, that’s probably the key.”