Published on: Dec 19, 2023
Australian batter Marnus Labuschagne has confirmed that he is fit for the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan despite taking a nasty blow on the fingers during the opening Test in Perth, which the Aussies won by 360 runs.
Labuschagne had to seek medical attention after being hit on the right hand by debutant Pakistan pacer Khurram Shahzad in the second innings of the first Test. All-rounder Cameron Green, who was dropped in favor of Mitchell Marsh, texted best wishes to Labuschagne before the batter went in for a scan.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, though, Labuschagne joked that he told Green not to have high hopes of playing the next Test.
“He just said, ‘I hope it all goes well, good luck’. I just said, ‘It’s not going to make a difference, mate. It’s going to have to take something pretty serious to have me miss a game.”
Labuschagne was not the only batter to suffer bruises during the Perth Test as the pitch played some tricks and put batters in trouble. Marsh, Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja also took some blows, while Pakistan were rolled over for 89 in their second innings.
“Uz (Khawaja) seems fine and Steve is all good. It was brutal there at the end with the cracks opening up. We’re all used to the bounce, played a lot here and some of us have good records in Perth. But no one likes batting when it’s up and down [and] sharp steep bounce on a fast wicket. That’s not your cup of tea, but you just have to find a way when it’s like that,” Labuschagne asserted about the fitness of players in the Australian squad.
In fact, all of the Australia’s players have been declared fit for the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which begins on December 26. The hosts are likely to go in with the same playing XI for the second Test as well.
The Australian batter also did not read too much into the Perth surface which came under the scanner for its behavior. On the other hand, he opined that playing a subcontinent team on such a bouncy surface is a big advantage.
“The bounce on Day 1, 2 and 3 the wicket looked quite nice, nice pace, let the ball go, it was actually quite tough to get you out, because you really only have the outside edge in play. It’s tough to get LBs, tough to get bowled. So yeah, it is a big advantage,” Labuschagne admitted.
–By A Cricket Correspondent