Marnus Labuschagne felt a surge of relief when he was cleared to play in the ‘Boxing Day’ Test against Pakistan after suffering a devastating hit on his pinky finger in the hosts’ series-opening triumph.
Labuschagne required medical care after being struck on the right hand by debutant Khurram Shahzad early in the second innings in Perth before top-edging the Pakistan fast bowler for two runs.
Before Labuschagne went in for a scan, all-rounder Green, who lost his spot in the squad to Mitchell Marsh, texted his best wishes.
Green, Labuschagne joked, should not get his hopes up.
“He just said, ‘I hope it all goes well, good luck,'” Labuschagne stated to reporters. “I simply stated, ‘It’s not going to make a difference, mate.'”
“It’s going to have take something pretty serious to have me miss a game.”
After Australia’s 360-run triumph on day four, the Perth Stadium surface deteriorated significantly, and Labuschagne was one of numerous batters with bruises.
Marsh, Steve Smith, and Usman Khawaja were all hit in the body, and Pakistan were bowled out for 89 in their second innings.
Pundits questioned whether the cracked wicket was too lively for a fair game, but Labuschagne refrained from labeling it dangerous.
“No one wants to bat when it’s like that, up and down.” On a fast wicket, the sharp, steep bounce. “It’s not for everyone,” he said.
“But you just have to find a way when it’s like that.”
Australia’s cricketers have all been approved to play in the December 26 test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The hosts are unlikely to make any changes due to the mild workloads of captain Pat Cummins, fellow quicks Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, who each had seven victims on day four.
Nathan Lyon also took a handful of wickets, including his 500th test wicket when he caught Faheem Ashraf lbw.
Lyon, who joined legspinner Shane Warne and fast bowler Glenn McGrath in reaching the milestone, was lauded by Australian media on Monday.
However, the 500th came only after much deliberation in the middle, with Cummins submitting the referral to the DRS just before the timer expired.
A bashful Labuschagne, who has long fielded at short leg when Lyon bowls, admitted to speaking against a review.
“I think I actually said it was high,” the man claimed.
“So I got that wrong.”