CRICKET'S sledging wars are back on with feisty Australian opener David Warner losing out to the West Indies in Melbourne.
With a dynamic two-test series in New Zealand looming, there was a reminder from Melbourne that Brendon McCullum's farewell could be more fiery than the departing New Zealand captain intends.
Australia are set to complete another big win over the Windies, but the touring side claimed a small victory over vice-captain Warner.
The Daily Telegraph reported that "Warner let his halo slip" as Carlos Brathwaite and Jason Holder employed "intimidation tactics" to unsettle the home side.
The paper wrote: "It was nearly 12 months ago that Warner last got into trouble for his 'speak English' barb directed at Indian Rohit Sharma at the MCG, but since then Australia's star opener has almost gone out of his way to avoid on-field confrontation - and there was no suggestion of anything ugly about Monday's lively exchange.
"However, Warner showed how difficult it is for a tiger to truly change his stripes and Windies giants Holder and Brathwaite managed to get under the skin of one of Test cricket's great antagonists and ultimately take his wicket, sparking raucous celebrations."
Brathwaite bumped into Warner twice and Holder unleashed the verbals against Warner, who then nicked a catch to Holder off Brathwaite's bowling leading to wild celebration by the duo.
Australian fast bowler James Pattinson welcomed the test fire, saying: "The West Indies have come into this innings (with) a little bit to say to Davey. You like that. You like a bit of a contest. It's really good to see a bit of fierce rivalry there."
"I think it was all good. I wasn't out there but it looked all good from where I was watching."
The Sydney Morning Herald described the confrontation as some "spice"
"No way, Davey Warner isn't getting involved with a little of sledging out there?" his former opening partner Chris Rogers said on ABC radio. Brathwaite reckoned: "...if the revs aren't on the ball from my hand then I need to have something inside to try to get myself up and try to show some aggression. That's what I tried to do today - thankfully it worked."
"I don't know if it was heated. I don't take anything off the field personally. If the opportunity presents itself I'll have a drink with him after the Test but out there I'm representing the West Indies and the couple of hundred thousand persons back home."
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