THE Barmy Army might have a fight on their hands before this series is over.
With the retirement of Mitchell Johnson after the last Ashes leaving a huge void in the lives of England supporters, they have chosen Aussie captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner as designated primary targets.
Fair enough, no-one minds a bit of good natured banter (even Johnson reputedly had a smile on his face about his taunting after months of incessant renditions of “He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right …”).
And surely Smith won’t be too upset to hear the Pommy songbirds belting out the chorus of his new anthem, “Oh I cheat with a little help from my friends …” ad nauseum.
But Warner? That could be another matter.
When the pugnacious opener walked out first over after lunch he was serenaded every step of the way by the Army’s latest ditty.
To the tune of The Beach Boys’ Sloop John B (coincidentally the same as Johnson’s signature tune), it starts off, “David Warner is over the hill … he came second to Sonny Bill”.
It’s a reference to a much-publicised men’s room encounter between rugby player Sonny Bill Williams and Warner’s wife Candice Falzon.
Even though the social media scandal that scored a million hits happened long before Candice and Davey became an item, no-one in their right mind would ever mention it within Warner’s hearing.
Not that anyone is suggesting that members of the Barmy Army are in their right minds – but even so is definitely not a good man to upset.
Just ask Joe Root.
And on the occasion those two came together Warner didn’t have a bat in his hand.
England’s Ashes Test schedule
Nov 23-27 First Test (Brisbane)
Dec 2-6 Second Test (Adelaide)
Dec 14-18 Third Test (Perth)
Dec 26-30 Fourth Test (Melbourne)
Jan 4-8 Fifth Test (Sydney)