Playing his first Test match after serving a 12-month ban over the infamous ball-tampering scandal, David Warner looked at ease as he responded to a merciless English crowd who chanted “he’s got sandpaper in his hand” during the first Ashes Test in Birmingham.
In the first innings, England saw a mini batting collapse and the crowd took it out on Warner, who was sent to field in front of the boisterous Hollies Stand. “He’s got sandpaper in his hands,” screamed the crowd again and again till Warner, with eyes focused on the game, pulled out his empty pockets.
The crowd laughed and some even clapped at Warner’s sportsmanship. The 32-year old joined in the fun, shared a laugh with the crowd before turning his attention back to the game.
On Day 1, Warner was dismissed early in the first inning. Warner was adjudged LBW off the last ball of the fourth over by Stuart Broad for just 2 runs. And as the Australian opener walked off the ground, an entire section of the English fans at the Birmingham stadium stood up to wave sandpapers at him.
While Warner has endured his third-worst return in Tests in which he has batted twice, former skipper Steve Smith, who was also banned along with Cameron Bancroft, picked up from where he left off.
Smith scored almost half of Australia’s runs himself in the first Ashes Test, rescuing his side who were in big trouble at 122/8 in the first innings with his 23rd Test ton in just 64 matches and his unbeaten 45 in the second innings dragged his side, 27/2 when he came to the crease, out of the mire again.