Australia in trouble as Archer tears through batting lineup

Tanya Simon
August 23, 2019

"It was pretty simple really, when we followed the protocols, he was probably a couple of days off being fit to be selected".

With star batsman Steve Smith ruled out with a concussion suffered when hit on the neck by a 92 miles per hour Jofra Archer bouncer at Lord's, Marnus Labuschagne - cricket's inaugural concussion substitute when replacing Smith at Lord's - came into the side.

Australia captain Tim Paine insists it is not exclusively the responsibility of Marnus Labuschagne to fill the void left by Steve Smith in the third Ashes Test.

Coach Justin Langer confirmed his absence after Smith sat out Australia's training session on Tuesday.

Play got under way late in damp conditions in West Yorkshire, with Stuart Broad and Archer bowling well, Broad nearly tempting David Warner into edging the ball on more than one occasion.

But rather than face another Jofra Archer bouncer barrage in his competitive return, Smith is aiming to be ready for a three-day clash in Derby that starts on Thursday week.

Smith was a huge loss to Australia having made scores of 144, 142 and 92 already this series.

"Like all players, he wants to play - but he understands as well he's not 100 per cent yet".

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Langer said Smith could make a return in a three-day tour match against Derbyshire from August 29-31, between the third and fourth tests.

A clean-shaven David Warner with Tim Paine. "He'll be hungry. Don't write off David", Langer said.

Langer also flagged that changes to Australia's top six from their second innings at Lord's - where Marnus Labuschagne delivered a match-saving 59 while filling in for Smith - were not on the cards.

'It's not an ego game, ' the former Australia opening batsman insisted.

Marnus Labuschagne impressed in the second innings at Lord's (Mike Egerton/PA).

Despite an impressive century that helped set up Australia's first Test victory, that puts the spotlight back on Matthew Wade, according to Taylor, who will fight it out with Travis Head and Usman Khawaja to escape the axe for the fourth Test.

'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 nearly unfillable shoes as he is nearly the best player in the world'.

Firstly, it means I get to rest. The guys have got plans and we've prepared really well for it.

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