Tuesday, February 25, 2020 | ePaper

Australia rule out bouncer battle despite Smith blow

  • Print


AFP, Leeds :
Australia coach Justin Langer has told his side to avoid being drawn into a bouncer battle after Steve Smith was ruled out of the third Ashes Test against England.
Star batsman Smith suffered delayed concussion symptoms after being hit on his neck by a 92 mph bouncer from England fast bowler Jofra Archer during the drawn second Test at Lord's.
His absence from the third Test at Headingley starting Thursday leaves Australia with a huge hole to fill.
Smith marked his return to Test cricket after a 12-month ball-tampering ban with innings of 144 and 142 during Australia's 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston that put his side 1-0 up in the five-match series.
He also made 92, having retired hurt after being hit when on 80, at Lord's where Marnus Labuschagne, Test cricket's first concussion substitute, made a brave fifty in the second innings after being hit flush on the grille of his helmet by Archer.
World Cup-winning fast bowler Archer struck several telling blows on a Test debut that yielded five wickets.
Australia also have plenty of fast-bowling firepower at their disposal in Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc.
But Langer insisted his side would not be sidetracked from their goal of becoming the first Australia side in 18 years to win an Ashes series in England. "We know what our plans are to beat England," Langer told reporters at Headingley, where the third Test starts on Thursday.
"It's not an ego game," the former Australia opening batsman insisted.
"We're here to win the Test match, not to see how many bruises we can give. That's not winning Test matches, trust me. You can't get out with a bruise on your arm.
"I'm sure the bouncer will still be part of every bowler's armoury, if it helps us get batsmen out then we'll use it, otherwise we'll keep sticking to the plan."
England are still without James Anderson after their all-time leading wicket-taker broke down with a calf injury after bowling just four overs at Edgbaston.
"It's not unlike England losing James Anderson, he's arguably their best bowler," said Langer.
"If you take your best players out it always has an impact so we have got to make sure that all the other guys, our senior players and our younger players, all step up and fill what are almost unfillable shoes as he is almost the best player in the world."

More News For this Category

All to play for in Newlands for South Africa, Australia

With the series level at 1-1, South Africa and Australia will be keen to give it their all in the deciding T20I in Newlands, Cape Town today.Going into the final

Decision on Mashrafe's ODI career in next BCB meeting

Decision on Mashrafe's ODI career in next BCB meeting

The decision on whether Mashrafe would be allowed to continue his cricketing career after the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe will be taken in the next meeting of the Bangladesh

Victory against Zimbabwe to bolster Bangladesh for Pakistan Test

Victory against Zimbabwe to bolster Bangladesh for Pakistan Test

After getting a much-needed victory in the form of an innings and 106-run in one-off Test over Zimbabwe, which ended their disappointing six-match losing streak in the longer version format,

Mushfiqur should go to Pakistan for country's greater interest: Papon

Mushfiqur should go to Pakistan for country's greater interest: Papon

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hassan Papon on Tuesday insisted that Mushfiqur Rahim and other contracted players should go to Pakistan for the greater interest of the country.The Tigers

Steve Smith, David Warner return to scene of sandpaper scandal for third South Africa T20I

Steve Smith, David Warner return to scene of sandpaper scandal for third South Africa T20I

Australia's Steve Smith and David Warner will return to Newlands on Wednesday, less than two years after they were central figures in one of cricket's greatest scandals at the ground.They

Buttler vows to prove worth on Test stage

Buttler vows to prove worth on Test stage

England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler is adamant he can prove his worth in the Test arena after struggling to emulate his one-day success.Buttler has endured a torrid time in Test cricket

New Zealand beat India by 10 wickets in series-opening Test

New Zealand beat India by 10 wickets in series-opening Test

AP, Wellington :New Zealand beat top-ranked India by 10 wickets in the series-opening match, posting its 100th win in Tests and inflicting India's first loss in eight matches in the

  Bangladesh totally in commanding position

Bangladesh totally in commanding position

Sports Reporter :Ace batsman Mushfiqur Rahim hit double century and skipper Mominul Haque made century as Bangladesh Cricket team totally took in commanding position in the lone Test match against

ICC bans Oman player from all cricket for 7 years on match-fixing charges

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has banned Oman player Yousuf Abdulrahim Al Balushi from all forms of cricket for seven years for his involvement in trying to fix matches.Al Balushi

Mashrafe returns to lead host side for Zimbabwe ODIs

Mashrafe returns to lead host side for Zimbabwe ODIs

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza returned to One Day International (ODI) squad and set to lead the side for one last time as Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced a 15-member squad for