Justin Langer has warned Ollie Robinson that he will be “ripped apart” if he continues as England’s “sledger in chief” without delivering on the field after his send-off to Usman Khawaja during the first Test of the Ashes at Edgbaston.

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Writing in the Telegraph, Langer said the he was unsurprised by the reaction from former Australia players after Robinson referenced their past actions on the field in while defending his words to Khawaja in a press conference during the Test. Ricky Ponting responded to Robinson’s comments while commentating on-air the following day, expressing his surprise at being dragged into the debate. The ex-Australia captain also levied further criticism of Robinson on the ICC Review podcast earlier this week.

“Sledge ex-captain Ponting, the much-loved little master of Australia, and there is always going to be a backlash,” wrote Langer. “You’re taking on an entire country here.

“‘Punter’, is a big boy, and Robinson’s comment seemed a bit random, but I wasn’t surprised it caused a pile-on from the Aussie media and some of my old team-mates who called Robinson out. We are in an Ashes series, and this is all part of the theatre.”

Robinson was also criticised by Matthew Hayden, who called him a “forgettable cricketer” after England were unable to bowl Australia out on the final day of play at Edgbaston.

“I describe it like seeing your little brother being beaten up in the school playground,” Langer wrote. “When it happens, you jump to his aid. This scene in mind, it was always going to provoke a reaction from Aussies back home and here. Like a junk-yard dog, we protect our own.

“Great teams hunt in numbers, that was one of the strengths of previous teams I have played in. The camaraderie of the team is like the glue that keeps things together, especially when the pressure comes on, and that pressure often comes when you or one of your mates is under siege.

“The interesting thing now will be how Robinson, and England, react to this. Will there be more animosity to come? Will he be England’s sledger-in-chief for the rest of the series? If he is, his mates must all back him up or Ollie will get ripped apart if he dishes it out without delivering. He might say it doesn’t bother him, but these things tend to have a cumulative effect over time.”

In his first Ashes column for Wisden.com this week, Robinson addressed the on-field incident with Khawaja, writing: “I didn’t realise the Ussie [Usman Khawaja] send-off was such a big thing until I got off the pitch to find my phone blowing up with mates texting me and it all going off. I just got caught up in the moment.

“We’ve all seen it with Jimmy [Anderson], Broady, [Glenn] McGrath, Brett Lee. All the bowlers do it when they’re fired up and trying to get a wicket for their team.”

Langer also wrote of his own experience of post-match press conference comments coming back to haunt him.

“I remember after scoring 250 in the Boxing Day Test match in Melbourne in 2002,” wrote Langer. “I walked into the press conference swaggering like Sir Vivian Richards. In the last hour of that day, the Barmy Army were calling no-ball every time Brett Lee delivered a ball. This was in reference to their perception of a bent arm.

“This was all fun and games until I naively bit back saying something like: “Most of the Barmy Army are overweight, beer-drinking clowns who don’t know much about cricket.”

“Silly boy. Again, the junk-yard dogs started barking, or in this case singing.”