New delhi,November 4: With the first Test of the three-match series between Australia and New Zealand just a day away, the war of words have begun. David Warner, Australia's newly-appointed vice-captain has taken a shot at Brendon McCullum in a delayed riposte to the New Zealand's captain's criticism of both Warner and Steve Smith during the Ashes earlier in the year.
McCullum had taken to his newspaper column to say that Smith had shown "immaturity" by not withdrawing the controversial obstructing-the-field appeal against Ben Stokes in the second One-Day International at Lord's. He also added that Warner needed to "show more respect" after he had allegedly not clapped after Joe Root notched a century in the first Ashes Test.
"I don't understand how a current cricket captain decides to play this brand of cricket on the field, which is Mr Nice Guys, then all of a sudden think he can comment on the way an Ashes series is panned out," Warner said on Tuesday .
"For one, he has never played in an Ashes series, and two, he doesn't know what it's like to play in an Ashes series. It's what we do out there. We play against England, we play an Ashes series. He should actually just watch the game and try and work out what New Zealand have to do to try and beat us instead of commenting on it.
"You're not playing for the spirit of cricket award are you? You're playing for a series. Our goal is to be number one in all formats and we're always going to fight for that. We try not to cross that line. A couple of times, we've headbutted it; a couple of times, we might have crossed it but we've got to try and win every game," he added.
Warner also didn't hold back as he responded to comments from New Zealand paceman Trent Boult that the visitors expected more aggression from Australia after a series of verbal send-offs during the World Cup final in March, where they won their fifth title.
"Is that what they said? Interesting," said Warner. "I don't think we sledge them at all. They are the Mr. Nice Guys. We saw in England that they invited the England team in for a (dressing room) beer which is something not common you do it after a Test series. But that's how they play their cricket. For us it is about being aggressive in the field. We play in-your-face cricket, the guys before us played it like that. That's probably why we dominate in Australia. That's something we are not going to stop."
In contrast, Boult said that New Zealand would continue to adopt McCullum's formula and not be unsettled if Warner resorted to a verbal crack at them. "If he [Warner] does it personally to me, it's not really going to faze me. He can try as much as he likes," Boult said. "In terms of sledging, the Australians obviously are known for sledging. But, for us, I can't see us wasting too much energy and trying to get caught up in too much of that stuff."