CAPE TOWN - David Warner has raised a query over South Africa's handling of the ball during their victory in Port Elizabeth and said the Australians would speak to the umpires about the issue of scuffing the ball.
The South Africa attack found greater reverse swing during the second Test than Australia, which contributed to their win, and Warner conceded that both teams worked on the ball in an attempt to gain an advantage. However, he said the Australians would check with the umpires on the method of handling the ball used by South Africa's wicketkeeper AB de Villiers.
"I think it comes down to the umpires warning both teams not to throw the ball into the wicket which you generally try and do," Warner told Sky Sports Radio. "They did it better than what we did, or more obvious than what we did. At the end of the day it comes down to who can do that the best and work on the ball.
"We worked on the ball a lot in England and we got the ball to reverse a lot there and we got the ball reversing a little at home and this time it just didn't work for us because the outfield was probably a little bit moist under the ground and day one it was obviously quite hard to get it to go reverse as well. That's what happens in the game. You have to try and work out how to do that. Sometimes that happens.
"We were actually questioning whether or not AB de Villiers would get the ball in his hand and with his glove wipe the rough side every ball. That's another thing we have to try and bring up with the umpires." Whatever the case, the Australians will need to work on their ability to handle high-class swing bowling over the next few days after Dale Steyn and his colleagues destroyed Australia on the fourth day in Port Elizabeth. The deciding third Test begins in Cape Town on Saturday.
Warner's questions come four months after South Africa batsman Faf du Flessis was fined for ball-tampering during the Dubai Test against Pakistan. Television visuals had showed du Plessis rubbing the ball near the zipper of his trouser pocket, after which the umpires changed the ball and awarded a five-run penalty.