Australia Vs New Zealand, Talking Points, third Test day 2: Marnus Labuschagne, Kiwi crisis

Marnus Labuschagne has continued his ridiculous summer of cricket with a double century as Australia were finally dismissed for 454.

But New Zealand are battling hard with 0/63 at stumps as the deplete side show some fight.

Here are the talking points from day two of the third Test.

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Having taken Test cricket by storm in near-unprecedented fashion, Australia’s form batsman Marnus Labuschagne will soon prove he belongs in the one-day arena.

That is the opinion of Josh Hazlewood, who can’t wait to make his international return from injury in what will be the prolific batsman’s ODI debut.

Labuschagne’s coming-of-age summer continued on Saturday at the SCG, where he fell for 215 after celebrating a maiden double ton.

Labuschagne has achieved almost everything this summer, shattering records and pushing to snatch Steve Smith’s label of the “best since Bradman”.

The right-hander’s Test average is 63.63, almost a full run an innings above that of Steve Smith and the second best of all time after 20 innings, behind only Donald Bradman, after scoring four Test centuries in a record-breaking stretch of dominance.”/>
media_cameraThe floodgates are well and truly open for Marnus Labuschagne.

He’s broken the Australian record for most runs in a five-Test Aussie summer, passing Neil Harvey’s 1953 record of 834 runs, as he was dismissed on 837 runs.

“They are astonishing numbers really,” Fox Cricket’s Isa Guha said.

England’s Wally Hammond and Sir Donald Bradman are the only other batsman to reach 800 runs in a five-test Aussie summer. Hammond currently holds the record on 905 runs, which he hit back in 1928-29.

But Labuschagne still has a chance to beat Hammond with another 79 runs in the second innings, while another century will see him join Ricky Ponting as the only batsman to score five centuries in an Aussie summer, which he did in seven Tests.

Labuschagne has been a marathon man for the summer, batting for a collective 1983 minutes or 33 hours and 1383 balls.

But after his first double century, he was welcomed the club by another member of the club as the rest of the world lost its mind for Australia’s

But Labuschagne will also take on the next challenge, becoming a three-format star for Australia.

The 25-year-old hasn’t had a chance yet but will make his ODI debut on Australia’s tour of India, which starts on January 14 in Mumbai.

Most modern-day cricketers don the coloured clothes before receiving a baggy green; not since the late Phillip Hughes has an Australian played so many Tests before making their one-day debut.

His arms must be tired from holding his bat”/>
media_cameraHis arms must be tired from holding his bat up.

But Labuschagne isn’t like most cricketers, as he proved yet again in the third trans-Tasman Test.

“He’ll be perfect in the middle order for us in one-day cricket,” Hazlewood said.

“I watched a bit of day one and, from his first ball, he looked to score the whole time and his hundred came off 160-odd balls.

“He’s great at rotating the strike but can also find the boundary … and he’s a real fighter. He showed that grit in the Ashes.

“It’s amazing to see where he is now compared to 12 months ago. To score four hundreds in a summer is unreal and his hunger for runs is what sticks out.”

Labuschagne was player of the tournament in the 2016-17 domestic one-day competition, while he scored 364 runs at 60.66 for Queensland in this summer’s 50-over tournament.

— with AAP


New Zealand’s tour from hell gets worse by the minute with Matt Henry suffering a broken thumb and a virus sweeping the camp forcing coaching staff to don the whites.

Henry will bowl through the pain against Australia in their third Test at the SCG after suffering the blow early on day one while attempting to field a drive from Joe Burns.

The injury is on his non bowling hand, with the right-armer’s left thumb to be strapped and placed in a stint.

He could however opt not to bat, with the Black Caps saying his contribution will be “match dependent”.

New Zealand’s drama is getting”/>
media_cameraNew Zealand’s drama is getting deeper.

Meanwhile Jeet Raval is the latest Kiwi to fall ill to the flu-like virus, joining skipper Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner who were all ruled out before the toss.

Raval remained lying down in the dressing rooms as the Black Caps took to the field on day two on Saturday, missing the first hour before reappearing. His illness left just 12 healthy players in the touring squad for the first hour — including Henry.

“The story was going around that he had copped the flu as well and has spent the first hour at the back of the dressing room trying to get right,” Black Caps great Ian Smith told Fox Cricket.

Batting coach Peter Fulton even had to put on the whites as second man on the team bench and could be called upon as a substitute fielder if required.

Spinner Will Somerville is also understood to be carrying a hand injury, with the webbing between his ring and middle finger split on his non-bowling hand. He too remains out in the middle.

The issues further complicate a horror few days for the New Zealanders and come with Australia building towards a big first-innings score.

Williamson lost around 2.5kg as a result of his affliction, with he and Henry failing to prove their fitness on Friday morning.

Trent Boult had earlier flown home after Mitchell Starc broke his hand as he tried to fend off a bouncer during the Boxing Day Test loss in Melbourne. That prompted Glenn Phillips to be flown across from Auckland as a last-minute inclusion for Sydney, along with newcomers Raval, Todd Astle and Somerville. Henry’s selection also came in place of Tim Southee, with the Black Caps believing he had more to offer than weary opening paceman who has workload concerns.

Team physio Vijay Vallabh says he hasn’t experienced a week like it in his four-and-a-half years with the side.

New Zealand are already 2-0 down in the three Test series, beaten by 296 runs in Perth and 247 runs at the MCG.

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Tim Paine is back on the wrong side of the DRS”/>
media_cameraTim Paine is back on the wrong side of the DRS calls.

New Zealand’s stand in captain Tom Latham has shown just how difficult the DRS can be with two of the worst reviews in history.

On day one, Will Somerville pitched a ball outside leg stump that was easily turned down.

But on day two, the Kiwis went next level, sending a ball that was blocked into the ground upstairs.

Spinner Todd Astle’s delivery floated in towards the toes of Paine, but replays showed the Aussie captain defended the pitched-up ball, which dribbled off the pitch from a leading edge.

The damning replays showed the ball was never within an inch of Paine’s pad or front foot.

“Generally it has to hit the pad for it to be LBW,” Warne mocked the Kiwis in commentary for Fox Cricket, particularly lashing Astle and keeper BJ Watling for continuing with the review which left New Zealand with no more referrals up their sleeve.

“There’s a smile from BJ Watling there. Whoopsie, sorry boys.”

But not to be left out, Tim Paine dropped another review with a ball that appeared to go straight through to the keeper.

He was sold a false bill of goods from the rest of his team though with everyone, except Steve Smith appealing.

On forensic look, there appeared to be the tiniest of hot spots although nothing on Snicko and could be reflection.

Not sure if an edge or”/>
media_cameraNot sure if an edge or reflection.

Fans were quick to say it was another Paine disaster.


196 years of life experience was in the box in”/>
media_camera196 years of life experience was in the box in Sydney.

With cricket season in full swing, the Fox Cricket commentatary team has been split across Test and BBL coverage.

Adam Gilchrist and Michael Hussey have been sent to Melbourne to cover the BBL Derby with the box left a little short handed.

As Australia were dismissed just before tea and the Kiwis started their innings, Ian Smith, Allan Border and Kerry O’Keeffe were in the commentary box.

Combined, they were almost the second double century of the Test with their combined ages coming in at 196.

Smith pointed out that they might be the oldest commentary trio in world cricket current working.

It was right in O’Keeffe’s wheelhouse.

“Some say we’re barely alive,” he said to the laughter of his co-commentators. “It’s like Weekend at Bernie’s in here — they just carry me in and work my laugh every 10 minutes.”

It left Smith in stitches, but we’ve got to say, it’s a pretty good one from Skull.

Originally published as Hilarious welcome after 67-year insanity

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