After a summer he is unlikely ever to forget, David Warner decided to pull his punches when asked to reflect on these turbulent two months.
The batsman returned to Test cricket in this match after he was banned by Cricket Australia for throwing a punch at Joe Root in a Birmingham bar in the early hours of 9 June. And, wouldn’t you know it, Root took the catch on the midwicket boundary that ended Warner’s innings of 41 yesterday.
Warner’s recall for this match made him the subject of mockery and mirth among the Old Trafford crowd, but – at least until now – he has managed to take it in his stride and accept the abuse with a smile.
“I hooked another one to Rooty,” Warner grinned afterwards. “It’s quite comical. What I did was a terrible thing but I’m playing good cricket. It’s been a long couple of months but I’m back now and I’m enjoying it.
“All my misdemeanours are behind me and I’m just happy to be back. I enjoyed it when the trumpeter in the crowd played the theme from the film Rocky when I came out to bat.
“What happened was all my fault, I accept that, and I have to keep embracing it. I have to embrace being booed.”
Before bad light and rain brought a halt to play, Australia were trying to set up a declaration. In a match they need to win to have a chance of regaining the Ashes, the tourists lead by 331, with rain forecast for today.
England’s apparent time-wasting tactics frustrated some in the crowd but Warner added: “We expected it. We knew the bowlers would take their time and take their time walking back to their mark.
“But the captain can be banned for a game if the umpires believe they have been time-wasting or not bowling their overs, so something like that could come back to bite them on the bum.”