The Australia-South Africa ongoing Test series has been marred by controversies. Despite some excellent cricket being played by both the teams, it has been the onfield duels and banters which has hogged the limelight. Meanwhile, the Australians will be looking to probe about the colourful yet controversial tweet sent from Vernon Philander’s verified Twitter handle last week.
Both teams have returned to training on Monday after enjoying a small time off. Meanwhile, Australia is confident of the fact that all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has to prove his fitness after suffering a minor groin strain in the 2nd Test. Meanwhile, the result of Kagiso Rabada’s hearing will be out by Wednesday which will eventually determine his participation in the final two Tests of the series.
The tweet posted by Philander’s verified account suggested that Steve Smith was responsible for the physical contact with Rabada which led to his suspension for a couple of Tests.
“Steve Smith gave KG the shoulder,” the tweet said. He could have avoided any contact, but to me, he is just as guilty. Trying some football skills to get a penalty??? Pity he didn’t dive to top it off.”
Philander is not new to verbal volleys. In his 52 Test career, he has had several banters with the Aussie players. Meanwhile, Philander later deleted the post and claimed the following morning that his account was hacked.
“If our banter is anything like it has gone this series, I’m sure it will be brought up at some stage to get under someone’s nerves,” opener Cameron Bancroft told reporters.
“That’s boys being boys, playing cricket. Who can hurt someone’s feelings the most? It seems to be a bit that way. We saw the tweet. It was obviously quite popular there for a little while. I don’t know if he wrote it or if his account was hacked or not. I can’t really say for him. He’s got to deal with the consequences.”
This is not the first time that Australia has provoked Philander. 4 years back David Warner publicly made a mockery of him due to pulling out of the Adelaide Test due to an injury.
“I would have liked to see him bowl at Adelaide in that second Test when he apparently hurt his back – and was bowling in the nets three days later,” Warner told reporters in 2014.
“On a flat wicket, who knows? But on a good wicket, he’s very tough.”
Meanwhile, both the teams have got ten days rest between the 2nd and the 3rd Test. With the series level 1-1, it will be an intense battle in the remaining two Tests.