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To sledge or not to sledge - Warner - that is the question for the Proteas

Australia batsman David Warner is struck on the shoulder by a delivery

Malibongwe Maketa just smiled and stated that the Proteas would ‘let the ball do the talking’, when it came to how they would confront David Warner (pictured). Picture: Richard Wainright/EPA

Published Dec 15, 2022


Johannesburg - Malibongwe Maketa just smiled and stated that the Proteas would “let the ball do the talking,” when it came to how they would confront David Warner.

The once pugnacious Warner, has been at the centre of a swirl of controversy this season, while his poor form with the bat has also led to speculation that his future in the Test format could be on the line in the series against South Africa that starts on Saturday at the Gabba.

His wife and manager have conducted interviews on radio - Candice Warner about how she was abused by spectators at the Adelaide Oval during Australia’s Test with the West Indies, while his manager James Erskine, added more fuel to the sandpaper saga, saying two Cricket Australia officials allegedly told the Australian team to doctor the ball after the team lost a home series to South Africa in 2016.

Former Australian captain, Michael Clarke, has said that it appears the Australian public have turned against Warner, and said the South Africans should try and use that to their advantage in the upcoming series.

“Their approach to any player that was involved in that ‘Sandpapergate’, they’ve got it mate,” Clarke said on Sky Sports radio’s The Big Sports Breakfast.

“It doesn’t need to cross the line, but you can make it very clear to someone like David Warner that the Australian fans are off him.”

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Maketa said the Proteas wouldn’t bite. “For us it's not about what is happening in the other camp, our focus is to get him out. Let the ball do the talking.”

Warner has struggled throughout the year, averaging just 23.00 in nine Tests.  However despite those struggles Maketa was wary of poking the bear  - after all Warner does average 52.26 against the Proteas in 12 Tests.

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“We’ve got our basic plans for him. He always brings energy in terms of when we have played against him and I don’t think it will be any different in this game. We’re not really talking about sledging or anything of that sort, but we are definitely going to bring a lot more aggression like we usually do.”


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