Marnus Labuschagne admits ‘hands just about hanging on’ after bruising Oval test

By Sports Desk June 09, 2023

Marnus Labuschagne emerged bruised but not beaten as Australia extended their advantage on day three of the World Test Championship final, admitting “my hands are just about hanging on”.

Labuschagne, Test cricket’s number one ranked batter, is one of several batters who have been put through the ringer over the first three days at the Oval.

On day one he suffered a nasty blow to his left thumb that required treatment and his second innings proved no gentler, with the Australia number three tossing his bat to the floor after another heavy blow to the glove.

Labuschagne survived the examination, carving out an unbeaten 41 from 118 deliveries as Australia reached stumps 296 ahead on 123 for four.

With the Ashes just a week away, an injury is the last thing anyone in the Australia dressing room wants to consider, and Labuschagne looks set to be battle-hardened by the time he takes on England at Edgbaston.

“I’ve got good bone density. My hands are just about hanging on,” he told Test Match Special.

“It is lively out there, and that does make it challenging when they bounce like that off a length, but that happens as a batter and you’ve just got to find a way through it.

“We’re certainly not taking this game as Ashes preparation, but it is certainly handy to have a Test of this calibre before a very big series.”

Labuschagne’s innings started in unusual fashion, with the 28-year-old appearing to nod off on the balcony while fully padded up.

David Warner’s dismissal shortly before tea saw him wake with a start, but he showed no signs of drowsiness as he faced off with the Indian attack, reaching the interval intact and negotiating the full evening session as Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith and Travis Head fell around him.

Team-mate Mitchell Starc explained: “I think he mentioned that when he came off actually, that he was just resting or having a little doze.

“Obviously he’s able to switch on pretty quickly and he copped a few across the knuckles to wake him up. He’s done a very good job in that last session, fighting through some difficult situations to keep the scoreboard ticking over.”
Starc, who picked up two wickets but saw his economy rate exceed five an over, admitted Australia had been off their game in the morning’s play.

After Scott Boland struck with the second ball of the day they saw three catches go down, while Pat Cummins had a second wicket of the innings struck off for a no-ball.

Australia were much improved after the break, jolted into life by an outstanding reaction catch from Cameron Green at gully.

“Not too much was spoken, just the fact that we were probably a bit sloppy in that first session and to sharpen up,” said Starc.

“The fact that we still took 10 wickets and created more than 10 chances throughout the first innings is a good sign but we’ve got plenty of room to improve and certainly get that rhythm back. We’ll be better for the run.”

India all-rounder Shardul Thakur argued that his side were still in the contest, taking some heart from their own defeat by England at Edgbaston last year, when Ben Stokes’ men chased 378 with seven wickets in hand.

“Cricket is a funny game. You never know who can handle the pressure better out there,” he said.

“One good partnership and you can even chase down 450 or maybe more than that. Last year England chased almost 400 and did not lose too many wickets, so that’s a positive sign for us.”

Related items

  • Rahmarack stars with the ball as Windies Women defeat New South Wales by four wickets at Wilson Park Rahmarack stars with the ball as Windies Women defeat New South Wales by four wickets at Wilson Park

    The West Indies Women got their tour of Australia off to a winning start with a four-wicket victory over a New South Wales (NSW) Women's team at Wilson Park.

    Karishma Ramharack had the NSW ladies spun tightly in her web of off-spin and were restricted to posted 105-9 from their 20 overs. Ramharack finished with figures of 3-12. Captain Hayley Matthews supported with some wizardry of her own taking 2-7 from her two overs.

    NSW skipper Sammy-Jo Johnson was the top-scorer with 28 with Hannah Darlington making 24.

    Shemaine Campbelle led the West Indies Women's run-chase posting 33 from 34 deliveries which included five boundaries. Skipper Matthews was next best with 24 off 27. Aaliyah Alleyne 19 not out and Zaida James 15 not out took the visitors home to victory in 17.5 overs.

    Head Coach Shane Deitz was pleased with the team's first outing since arriving in Australia four days ago.

    “It's good to get the first win on tour. I think we've got a lot of areas we need to improve on, especially getting used to batting on these wickets with some extra pace and bounce. Overall, I think we played generally good all-round and it's going to put us in a good position to play on Sunday,” he said.

    The ODI series against Australia is West Indies’ fourth fixture in the ICC Women’s Championship 2022-2025 after playing New Zealand, England and Ireland.

    Each match provides West Indies with opportunity to win valuable points to climb the Championship table where they currently lie ninth of 10 teams.

    Following the Australia Series, West Indies Women will play four three-match ODI series over the next two years. At the end of the cycle, the top five teams in the ICC Women’s Championship will book berths in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2025 along with hosts India.

    The remaining teams will have to go through the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier.



  • Surrey retain County Championship title after Essex batting collapse Surrey retain County Championship title after Essex batting collapse

    Surrey have retained their LV= Insurance County Championship title as Essex’s slim hopes ended after their batters collapsed in a heap against Northamptonshire.

    A 20-point gap between the top two Division One teams heading into the final round meant Surrey needed just five points in their fixture against Hampshire to celebrate a 21st championship triumph.

    They secured three bowling bonus points at the Ageas Bowl but none with the bat, which opened the door for Essex, who needed to amass a 400-plus score in 110 overs to have any chance of catching Surrey.

    But Essex were unable to claim the maximum amount of batting bonus points as they capitulated to 211 all out on Thursday morning, with last man Jamie Porter bowled by Tom Taylor to crown Surrey champions.

    Surrey, who have won the championship five times since the turn of the century, became the first side since Yorkshire in 2014 and 2015 to claim back-to-back titles.

  • Final decision on who hosts 2024 ICC World Cup final yet to be reached - CWI CEO Johnny Grave Final decision on who hosts 2024 ICC World Cup final yet to be reached - CWI CEO Johnny Grave

    Cricket West Indies (CWI) has moved to provide clarity on the ongoing process of venue selection for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup scheduled to take place in the Caribbean and USA in June 2024.

    CWI acknowledges the enthusiasm and interest expressed by various governments, cricket boards, and stakeholders in hosting the highly anticipated tournament. However, there has been some confusion over how the process works, especially in light of recent developments wherein Barbados Cricket Association President Conde Riley claimed that Barbados has been selected to host the finals of the tournament next June.

    Those claims have been debunked by CWI President Dr Kishore Shallow.

    So, what is the actual truth?

    CWI Chief Executive Officer Johnny Grave explained, stating, "Following a robust selection process of our seven host venues, CWI-appointed Venues Selection Committee, chaired by President Dr. Kishore Shallow, has made recommendations to the ICC on allocations of matches for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup scheduled to take place in the Caribbean and USA in June 2024."

    Grave acknowledged the commendable efforts made by nations within the region; however, he emphasized that final decisions have yet to be reached.

    "These recommendations are subject to venues confirming commitment to all required obligations and ICC approval,” explained.

    “We are delighted by the enthusiasm and interest expressed by our host governments and cricket Boards and appreciate the hard work and commitment shown as we look to deliver a spectacular Men's T20 World Cup next year. We will now work with the ICC, our hosts and ICC Members to finalize the match schedule in the coming weeks."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.