Australia star Pat Cummins goes into bat for David Warner after England all-rounder Ben Stokes takes aim


“I had extra personal motivation due to some things that were said to me out on the field on the evening of day three when I was trying to get through to stumps.

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“A few of the Aussies were being quite chirpy but, in particular, David Warner seemed to have his heart set on disrupting me.”

Stokes said he could cop the “chirp” from other Australians but not Warner, who has limited his on-field verbal barbs in the wake of the ball tampering scandal which rocked Australian cricket.

“The changed man he was adamant he’d become, the one that hardly said boo to a goose and even went as far as claiming he had been re-nicknamed ‘Humble’ by his Australia teammates, had disappeared,” Stokes wrote.

“Maybe his lack of form in his new guise had persuaded him that he needed to get ‘The Bull’ back?‘

“Although he’d enjoyed a prolific World Cup campaign, he had struggled with the bat at the start of the Ashes and was perhaps turning to his old ways to try to get the best out of himself.

“The nice guy act had done nothing for his runs column. The more time passed, the more it spurred me on.

“All kinds of ideas of what I might say to him at the end of the game went through my head. In the end, I vowed to do nothing other than shake his hand and say ‘Well done’ if I could manufacture the situation.‘

“You always shake the hands of every member of the opposing team at the end of a match. But this one would give me the greatest sense of satisfaction.”

Cummins was one of the Australian bowlers unable to stop Stokes as he smashed boundaries for fun on his way to the historic Headingley win.

H was miffed by the suggestion Warner had goaded the all-rounder when asked on Friday.

Ben Stokes was unstoppable at Headingley.Credit:Getty Images

“It seems like Davey is a bit of an easy target. He’s a bit of a punching bag, I think,” Cummins said.

“I was obviously concentrating on bowling but I was surprised when I read that.

“From my point of view, I didn’t hear anything. Maybe it did happen, maybe it didn’t but I certainly didn’t hear anything.”

Fellow Test fast bowler Josh Hazlewood said on-field verbal exchanges were simply part of the game.

“I didn’t know too much about it, to be honest. I was chilling down at fine leg most of the time,” Hazlewood said.

“Those words happen on the field. You’re trying to get under each other’s skin to try and force an error, force a mistake.

“It happens the other way around, vice versa as well. It’s all part of the game.”

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