Blackcaps v Australia: NZ players not buying into David 'Dumb Dumb' Warner trashtalk before Chappell-Hadlee series

Injured Blackcaps allrounder Michael Bracewell winces at the reference to outspoken Aussie batter David Warner as 'Dumb Dumb'.

The champion Australian cricketers have landed in New Zealand for a three-match Twenty20 series, starting Wednesday at Wellington, with the irascible opener already bracing for a hostile reception from Kiwi cricket fans.

Warner has tormented the NZ team over his international career, which is winding to an end, and that antagonism is reciprocated, with some on this side of the Tasman dubbing him 'Davy Dumb Dumb'.

Michael Bracewell and David Warner.
Michael Bracewell and David Warner. Photo credit: AM Show/Photosport

On the eve of the series, Bracewell knows better than to buy into that hostility.

"Oh no," he told AM. "He's a high-quality player, and I think the guys are just focusing on how to get him out and all the rest of their guys.

"They're a pretty explosive team and it should be a really exciting series. We just leave the media and the public to get around those nicknames and things like that, and we try to focus on the cricket."

Warner was a polarising figure even before he played an infamous role in 'sandpapergate', when - as Australian vice captain - he helped instigate a ball-tampering incident against South Africa in 2018. 

"He's a very explosive Twenty20 player and we've seen over a number of years how well he can play," said Bracewell. "I imagine he will come out and try to fire the first punch, but I know the boys have got some good plans in place and hopefully we can stop that." 

Bracewell is a significant absence from the series, as he recovers from a string of injuries that have sidelined him from international cricket for the past 12 months. He burst onto the world scene in July 2022, when he captured a hattrick in his first international T20 over against Ireland.

In January 2023, he hit the third-fastest NZ one-day century off 57 balls against India, but ruptured an Achilles tendon playing English county cricket in June and missed the World Cup in October/November.

Bracewell returned to domestic cricket this summer, showing promising form for Wellington in the Super Smash T20 format, but is currently nursing a broken finger.

"As a sportsman, you just want to be out there on the field and playing," he told AM. "To not be able to do that when you feel like you're playing really well is difficult.

"Part of it is understanding that and getting around the guys that are injured at the moment. Obviously, Kyle Jamieson has just had some pretty tough news to take.

Michael Bracewell in action for Wellington Firebirds.
Michael Bracewell in action for Wellington Firebirds. Photo credit: Photosport

"Because you know how that feels, getting around guys like that is pretty important, and to be part of the team and make sure you show your support to those guys.

"NZ Cricket has been massive, wrapping support around me to make sure I've got everything I need to get back on the park. You do miss that connection with the team, so it's been cool to be around the group this week, which has been awesome and hugely energising."

Bracewell and Jamieson aren't the only players missing from the series, with whiteball captain Kane Williamson on babywatch and allrounder Daryl Mitchell nursing a foot injury before the upcoming tests against Australia.  

Join Newshub at 7pm Wednesday for live updates of the opening Blackcaps v Australian T20