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Cricket: Warner walk makes Oz look fragile

David Warner walks after being given LBW at Eden Park. Photo / Getty
David Warner walks after being given LBW at Eden Park. Photo / Getty

Imagine, for a moment, New Zealand vice-captain Kane Williamson had been rapped on the pads and adjudged lbw in the opening Chappell-Hadlee one-day international to a delivery that looked high on impact.

He asks teammate Martin Guptill whether he should opt for the Decision Review System.

Guptill says: "What did it feel like?"

Williamson says: "High".

Guptill says: "Go for it".

Williamson instead turns around and walks off, and Guptill tells a breakfast radio show: "I don't really know what more he wants from my end."

"He said 'I wasn't that confident in what you had said' and I said 'well, I'm not really sure what you're after, Nossy, but I can't be any more explicit than saying go for it'."

The chances of that hypothetical situation occurring appear slim, yet that scenario, with David Warner in place of Williamson, and George Bailey in place of Guptill, arose in Wednesday's match.

Radio Sport's Martin Devlin, ironically hosting his DRS show, asked Guptill about his own run-out when on 90 off 76 during the game.

"Things these happen, you've just got to move on," the opener replied, without a mention of batting partner Henry Nicholls.

Australia are world-beaters, and indeed world champions, playing at home. They scored between 296 and 348 batting in five ODIs against India last month, winning the series 4-1.

However, their foundations look wobbly here after a 159-run loss.

Extraordinary statistics emerged about the Auckland performance. Their 146 balls was the lowest they had faced in any ODI, undercutting 152 in their 70 at Birmingham in 1977; it was the first time Australia had lost six wickets within the first 10 overs of an ODI since 2002; New Zealand's 182-5 was the most scored against Australia in the first 25 overs of an ODI, again since 2002.

Captain Steve Smith pointed to their status as world champions in the pre-match media conference, but it must concern that Bailey and Warner's lack of trust be so publicly aired.

Post-match, Smith questioned why Warner didn't send the decision upstairs.

"It wasn't a great non-referral," he said. "I thought he must have hit it when I saw it live because Brendon McCullum caught it.

"I'm not really sure of the conversation those two had just yet. I'll find out once I get back into the sheds."

Presumably he has now shed more light on the issue.

Bailey has defended Warner with blind loyalty in the past, notably as Australian captain after the abandoned Champions Trophy match against New Zealand at Edgbaston in 2013.

It came after Warner's suspension for punching England batsman Joe Root at a Birmingham bar. Bailey was asked, possibly disingenuously, whether captaining his country had been "everything you'd dreamed it would be?"

He chuckled and said: "It's been busy [in the absence of the injured Michael Clarke] and every day brings something unique."

But he defended Warner.

"From a team perspective, he took it on the chin, no pun intended, and his attitude around the team today was outstanding.

"I really enjoy playing cricket with him. I love his energy and enthusiasm around the group and the way he plays. I wish I had the talent he does. He's a generous teammate, very giving."

But, on this later occasion, Warner wasn't into taking advice.

- NZ Herald

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