Opinion: Warner-De Kock Debacle Good for the Game

Fielder throws cricket ball in

Jonhenry Wilson looks forward to the second Test between South Africa and Australia as well as what the Warner / de Kock spat will add to the encounter. 

Don't be too quick to question the ability of South Africa's batsmen again. Australia's bowlers were outstanding in the first Test match at Kingsmead. This is not to excuse the defeat, but to offer credit where it is due. Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood are the best seam trio around at the moment - far stronger than the three-pronged combination of Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada. Even if Dale Steyn was there, ahead of, say, Morkel, the same status would be bestowed on Starc and compatriots.

Even with all the criticism, the reality is that it's too early to be making the changes many are calling for. Granted, Temba Bavuma would crack the nod ahead of Theunis de Bruyn if fully fit, but should this be the case? De Bruyn hardly messed up in Durban - and must not be treated like a selection yo-yo. It would be great to see him given the entire series to prove himself, much like Heino Kuhn was in England. That didn't turn out well for Kuhn, but may well do for de Bruyn, in the middle order.

The whole debacle between Quinton de Kock and David Warner has kicked up nicely - and again raises the issue of the levels of aggression in international cricket. Virat Kohli's passion and anger was, at least, confined to the field during India's visit. Warner was misplaced in having a go in the stairwell at Kingsmead. De Kock probably goaded him, yes, but a man of such experience should have known better. Then again, this is the same Australian who threw a punch at Joe Root and has a couple of unsavoury off-field incidents to his name.

South Africa, so far, have handled it pretty well, returning a bit of formal fire rather than just buckling to their visitors. The saga, no doubt, will add that much more fire to the second Test at St George's Park. Aiden Markram's fight in Durban was marvelous, as was de Kock's - one trusts they can inspire the rest in Port Elizabeth, where the Proteas have not lost a Test in five years.

They, in fact, beat the Aussies at this venue in 2014, when Hashim Amla welcomed a magnificent second-innings against Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon. The spinner is the only surviving member of that visiting attack, but significantly more important now than he was then. Amla has a big bogey to shake off against Lyon in particular - and hopefully score his first Test century against a top-tier nation since 2016.

All in all, we wouldn't have heard the last of Warner v de Kock and, in a sense, it'll hopefully spill over into the second Test. It'll add to the drama and intrigue of an already entertaining contest. Australia must learn to take it as well as they give it - as long as actions and deeds from both teams don't go too out of line. Then, and only then, should the match referee and other officials intervene.

The views expressed above are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Hollywoodbets.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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