Last Updated: June 07, 2023, 17:58 IST
London, United Kingdom (UK)
Australian team physio was summoned early in the first hour of the ICC World Test Championship final at The Oval in London against India after a vicious lifter from Mohammed Siraj crashed onto the thumb of Marnus Labuschagne.
Having earlier removed Australia opener Usman Khawaja with a beauty for a 10-ball duck, Siraj continued to test the world’s top-ranked team as he got the ball to move while beating the outside edge consistently.
Australia, who qualified for the WTC final by topping the standings, were asked to bat first in overcast conditions by India captain Rohit Sharma who expected the pitch to remain the same during the five-day contest. And his decision proved correct when Siraj sent Khawaja packing in the fourth over.
Labuschagne joined David Warner with the pair cautious in challenging conditions. And then Siraj delivered a short ball to start the eighth over and it was a lifter which left Labuschagne confused as he made a very late attempt to leave it alone but by then it was too late.
The ball struck his left thumb and instantly, the world’s top-ranked Test batter dropped his bat and looked in considerable pain. The contest was halted for a short period as Labuschagne received some treatment before resuming the innings.
Labuschagne did well to dig in for his 26 before Shami struck with his first delivery after lunch to have him bowled. Australia had scored 72/2 in a shared morning session that saw them lose Khawaja and then David Warner on 43.
India opted for a four-pronged pace attack in Shami, Siraj, Umesh Yadav and allrounder Shardul Thakur, Surprisingly, they left out R Ashwin, the world’s top-ranked Test bowler in the eleven which features Ravindra Jadeja as the lone specialist spinner.