Australian coach Darren Lehmann says the David Warner incident doesn’t affect the left-hander’s status as a leader in the team.
Lehmann addressed the Australian media on Tuesday, and the official Cricket Australia website cricket.com.au reported that his management backs Warner fully despite the altercation with Proteas wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock on Sunday during the tea interval.
CCTV footage obtained by IOL Sport showed that Warner initially started speaking to De Kock as they first entered the change-room area, and a second video shows the Australian batsman being held back by teammates Tim Paine and Usman Khawaja as he tried to move towards De Kock.
Both captains Steve Smith and Faf du Plessis confirmed that there were personal comments from both Warner and De Kock on the field, and that it spilled over to the change-rooms.
“He’s vice-captain of the Australian cricket team. We’re certainly supporting David,” Lehmann said.
“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.”
Du Plessis said on Monday that he is not sure “who started it”, but said that it was unfortunate that the matter didn’t stay on the field, and that is usually when the umpires step in and handle it.
Lehmann said on Tuesday that the captains and coaches are likely to meet before the start of the second Test in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
“Both sides are going to push the boundaries. That’s part and parcel of Test-match cricket,” he said.
“It’s a bloody 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.”