Mark Taylor slams Australia for on-field behaviour in South Africa

By @saihoops on
Australia's tour of South Africa, Steve Smith, David Warner
Cricket - South Africa vs Australia - First Test Match - Kingsmead Stadium, Durban, South Africa - March 5, 2018. Australia's David Warner and Steve Smith leave the pitch after beating South Africa. Reuters / Rogan Ward

Former Australia captain Mark Taylor has come down hard on Steve Smith's team for their on-field behaviour during the ongoing four-Test series in South Africa. Taylor, a Cricket Australia Board director, believes Australia's Test players should be on their "final warning" from match officials for breeding an ugly atmosphere.

Though Taylor was equally critical of South Africa, the home team, "Tubs" believes the confrontation between Australian vice-captain David Warner and Proteas wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock during the first Test at Durban led to further bad blood between the teams at Port Elizabeth.

"Both sides should be on their final warnings, and that definitely includes Australia. There's been too much of this in-your-face celebration when batsmen are dismissed, and the Australian bowlers have been as guilty as the South African bowlers at times," Taylor told Channel Nine, via ESPNCricinfo.

Taylor echoed the sentiments of former skipper Ian Chappell, who recently said that Smith and coach Darren Lehmann were culpable for letting things spiral out of control.

"I absolutely agree with that. Unfortunately it's where David Warner has come unstuck, he's actually made a point in recent times of saying that he wants to bring back the old David Warner and get in the face of the opposition. Bullying is not a bad term for it, and they're using it too much. It just keeps escalating and now it's getting out of hand," added Taylor.

South Africa to appeal Kagiso Rabada’s ban

Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, the Man of the Match during South Africa's six-wicket victory in the second Test, has been handed a two-Test ban for physical contact with Steve Smith at St. George's Park.

Though South Africa has appealed the ban, Taylor believes Rabada crossed the line. "I'm not surprised South Africa are appealing the suspension because he's obviously a key player for them. Having taking 11 wickets in the last Test they are going to do everything they can to keep him on the field, but he's in trouble because he's already been found guilty. In my mind the contact with Steve Smith in the second Test was avoidable, so that's why he's in trouble."

The third Test of Australia's tour of South Africa gets underway at Newlands, Cape Town, on March 22. With the four-match series tied at one win apiece, the third Test could essentially decide the outcome of the series. In 2014, Michael Clarke's Australians registered a 2-1 series victory in South Africa.