The Roar
The Roar

Advertisement

'I touched the stump': Carey baulks at Bairstow 2.0 - but should he have gone for 'fair game' dismissal?

15th December, 2023
Advertisement
Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
Replay
Cancel
Next
15th December, 2023
15
1329 Reads

Alex Carey has attempted to replicate his run out of Jonny Bairstow, hovering over the stumps as Abdullah Shafique dozed in one of the few memorable moments of the second day in Perth.

This time, however, he held fire on the Pakistan batter rather than making a proper appeal, conscious that he had not actually left his crease.

The opener was in his ground, but had his foot off the ground as Carey touched the bails, which did not fall off.

“I touched the stump,” was heard through the stump mic.

At short leg, Marnus Labuschagne appealed for the wicketkeeper to break the stumps, but Carey did not – with the Pakistan batter none the wiser.

“He touched the stump, but the bails didn’t move,” said Isa Guha on The commentary.

“The bails didn’t come out of the groove and there was a moment where Shafique had his foot in the air.”

Adam Gilchrist was disappointed that the Aussies didn’t make more of it.

Advertisement

“It was a swift bit of work from Marnus,” he said

“I think that would have been fair game.”

Bairstow famously invoked the “spirit of cricket” in his defence – and perhaps Carey decided that it was too much to take a batter within his grounds even though the letter of the law would have allowed him to.

Pakistan’s reply began at a funereal pace, with Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq crawling along at a tick over 2 an over but, crucially, avoiding wickets early on.

Save for an extravagant shot that saw Shafique smash Nathan Lyon back over his head, the Pakistanis were content to see out the first barrage.

They were a little lucky to do so: the opener also edged Lyon wide of Steve Smith at slip and, on several occasions, Imam did his best impression of his uncle, Inzamam-ul-Haq with some kamikaze work between the wickets.

Advertisement

Pat Cummins rattled through his bowling options, using all five frontline options within just 20 overs, but, despite a few close shaves, no breakthrough was forthcoming.

Australia’s first innings ended just shy of 500, with the hosts all out for 487 thanks to a six-fer from Aamar Jamal, who ran through the tail just after lunch.

The Pakistani debutant enjoyed a superb day, taking the wickets of Carey and Mitch Starc with two copybook seaming deliveries on off stump, before nicking off Nathan Lyon and Pat Cummins late to finish with figures of 6/111.

Mitch Marsh stole the show in the morning, making 90 before lunch, but had his middle stump pegged back by Khurrum Sahzad while attempting an extravagant shot first ball after the resumption.

The Bison was at his belligerent best, taking a few overs to size the Pakistan attack up before cashing in, initially taking advantage of erring lengths and then making his own lengths by moving forwards and backwards to cart the bowling around.

“I still think the best years are still ahead of Mitchell Marsh,” said Michael Vaughan on commentary.

“I think he’s going to have a dominating period in Test match cricket over the next 2-3 years with the bat in hand.

Advertisement

“Now he’s got that real confidence from that innings that he played at Headingley…Mark Wood was bowling as quick as I’d seen Mark Wood down the hill at Headingley.

“Mitchell Marsh had all the time in the world.”

The only respite were the two wickets, both picture-perfect deliveries from Jamal that took the off bail of first Carey, for 34, and Starc for 12.

The two wicket taking balls were as good as you’ll see – yet, at the same time, baffling in that Pakistan didn’t attempt it more often. Once they did, after lunch, the wickets fell readily.

Much as the batting was effective early on, it was aided by an effort that was just some seekh kebabs and pakoras away from being a full on Pakistani buffet.

At one point, Carey had three full tosses in the over, and Shaheen, who chucked them down, was lucky to get away with just seven runs off them.

Advertisement

The big quick is Pakistan’s best bowler, but he was never able to build any pressure, partly through his own tendency to err in length and partly because the Aussies knew they could just attack everyone else, giving Afridi nothing work with.

It took about three quarters of an hour of semi-sedate cricket before Marsh and Carey decided they had seen quite enough and decided to get stuck in, taking 14 off an over twice, right off the back of the first serious mini-spell of pressure that Pakistan had built.

This has the feeling of one of those pitches where one side will make it look like a road, the other like a snake pit – as proven by Jamal’s excellent wickets.

The tourists were consistently unable to find the areas needed to make the new ball do anything for them, and one suspects that Pat Cummins et al, when they get the chance, will not be as generous.

Pakistan has clearly been told by their analysts that the best area was slightly fuller than where they had been yesterday – the radical idea of periodically attempting to hit the stumps – but it was almost as if they were looking to move the average, not hit the correct length, because far too many went far too full and got smashed.

Warner explains ‘extraordinary’ and ‘brave’ moment and why it shocked Uzzy

Advertisement

It is 14 years since David Warner exploded into the public consciousness with a stunning T20 debut for Australia – and as the end nears on his Test career he delivered an exhilarating moment that paid tribute to his roots.

Warner’s incredible scooped six from a good length ball aimed at the top of off stump from Shaheen Afridi to go from 63 to 69 on the opening day of the first Test against pakistan was an iconic moment to match the shush he sent the way of critics on reaching his century.

Warner, who intends to step aside from Test cricket after the third game of the series in Sydney, has been at the forefront of a revolution in Test cricket – where outlandish and creative shots have entered the mainstream.

The first to react to his brilliant blow was batting partner Usman Khawaja, who like fans and commentators, could barely believe his eyes.

“I actually thought it was shorter than what it was until I saw the replay, and the boys were laughing,” Warner said.

“Uzzy came up and said ‘that’s an unbelievable shot’ and I said ‘it’s a short ball mate, I can ride it’ and he said ‘that wasn’t short mate, that could have been a cover drive’.”

Advertisement

He explained his thought process further: “If they’re going to put fine leg square and the boundary’s like that and some one is bowling 140ks, you’ve got to be brave.

“It’s always in the back of my mind to play that shot, it doesn’t matter what format it is, it’s a scoring shot, and nine times out of 10 they’re bowling a nice length. On this wicket, it’s hard to hit the stumps. I thought with his angle and his pace I could actually ride it, so I just gave it a crack.”

David Warner of Australia bats during day one of the Men's First Test match between Australia and Pakistan at Optus Stadium on December 14, 2023 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

David Warner hits his incredible six. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Brad Haddin, commentating for Triple M said the shot summed up the modern batsman.

“The thought process about the modern player to score and bring 360 [degrees] into the equation is phenomenal,” Haddin said.

“That ball was top of off, going away, well bowled, to think of dropping your leg, ramp over fine leg – [it’s] extraordinary skill.”

Haddin added: “It’s courageous to do it. In a Test match on a bouncy wicket. He’s picking up lengths very similar to he did at the World Cup.”

Advertisement

Haddin’s lead commentator at Triple M, Jack Heverin was in awe, declaring: “That’s taking a fairly decent level of piss.”

Warner was in typically bullish mood after stumps where he talked about his shush celebration and even teased reporters about his future when it was noted that he had effectively secured his place through to the end of the series.

“It is up to the selectors. If they want to keep continuing to pick me, I ain’t leaving,” he said.

Hang on, is he thinking about playing on?

“No. I’m not.”

Advertisement
close