There was a bizarre footnote on Monday, however, as a result of Dar’s intervention.
The Pakistani umpire first warned Warner’s batting partner Labuschagne for running on the wicket. Soon after, he penalised Australia five runs – which were added to New Zealand’s first innings total – when he turned a ball from Black Caps seamer Matt Henry towards midwicket and was deemed by the official to have trod on the wicket after setting off for a single.
It was going to take a lot more than five penalty runs to make a match of the third Test at the SCG, such was the gulf between the teams since they began squaring off in Perth nearly four weeks ago, but Warner let Dar know he wasn’t impressed.
“What?” Warner said to the umpire. “What am I doing wrong? What am I doing?” Dar replied he was “running down the middle” of the pitch.
So rare are such umpiring crackdowns that Dar mistakenly produced the incorrect signal, tapping his left shoulder with his right hand over and over, which indicates penalty runs to the batting team. What he should have done, according to the rules, is place his hand on the opposite shoulder and not keep tapping it.
“I wasn’t too sure what was going on but I wasn’t happy,” Warner told the ABC after Australia completed a 279-run victory. “He just said there was a warning for Marnus and it was just like he was trying to put his foot down and stamp his authority.
“I couldn’t actually quite understand because I think when you confront Aleem with little things like that, he gets a little bit in your face. You’ve got to respect the umpire and, at the end of the day, you’ve got to try and stay off the wicket.”
Australia captain Tim Paine said he “didn’t see too much in it”.
“The footage that I saw on TV looked OK,” Paine said. “He hit the ball and tried to get off as quick as he could. One of the umpires obviously saw it differently. We’ll wait and see what comes of it.
“It certainly wasn’t David trying to do that on purpose or a directive from our side. The wicket was breaking up as it was, it didn’t need to break up any more than it had.”
Warner endured a torrid Ashes last winter but has turned things around emphatically.
“Anyone who knows him and has been around him in a cricket team knows how determined he is to score runs. When he gets going, he normally goes pretty big and gets on a roll,” Paine said.
“I thought the innings that he played [on Sunday] on that wicket was unbelievable.”
Chris Barrett is Sports Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.