The primary day of the Check summer season was all about Australian golden boy Marnus Labuschagne, who introduced up his eighth Check century at Perth Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
Australia was 2/293 at stumps on day one of many sequence opener in opposition to the West Indies, seemingly cruising in direction of a mammoth first-innings complete at Perth Stadium.
Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja contributed half-centuries within the one-sided contest, whereas veteran opener David Warner was the one Australian to fail with the bat.
It is going to take one thing particular from the West Indies to avoid wasting this Check match.
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Magic Marnus’ elite Day 1! | 03:14
NO JUNK RUNS FOR MARNUS
There’s no stopping Marnus Labuschagne.
The Queenslander was unbeaten on 154 at stumps on day one, and might be eyeing a second Check double century on Thursday.
It continues a surprising run of type for Labuschagne at Check stage. For the reason that 2019 Ashes sequence, Labuschagne has averaged 84.40 within the first match of a Check sequence.
“He’s such a superb participant,” former Australian batter Mark Waugh advised foxsports.com.au.
“He’s been in all probability the discover of Australian cricket the final two or three years actually.
“He got here on the scene with a modest first-class file and he’s simply stored bettering.
“He’s so hungry to attain runs – you may see it in his eyes when he will get on the market.
“He’s simply obtained such utility in his starvation for runs.
“He’s needed to work fairly onerous … the pitch wasn’t that simple to bat on.
“I feel Marnus would fee this hundred actually extremely as a result of he hasn’t had an excellent begin to the pink ball season with Queensland.”
Labuschagne at present averages 69.28 in Exams on Australian soil, a determine bettered solely by Sir Donald Bradman.
The Queenslander is unstoppable at Perth Stadium — he scored 143 and 50 throughout his solely different Check match on the newly-developed venue in December 2019.
Beforehand, the one blemish on Labuschagne’s file was his lack of away Check centuries, however he lastly managed the feat in opposition to Sri Lanka earlier this 12 months.
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FLAT WINDIES UNABLE TO BREAK THROUGH
The West Indies didn’t bowl terribly on Wednesday, however they lacked ferocity.
It’s unfair to check their present tempo assault to the legends of the Nineteen Eighties, however contemplating solely one in every of their bowlers often exceeded 130km/h in Perth, the worry issue is undeniably gone.
At occasions, the West Indies appeared flat — their seamers bowled impeccably within the morning session, however it was easy crusing for Australia’s batters as soon as the ball stopped swinging.
“I feel they’ve bowled fairly nicely, however haven’t had a whole lot of luck,” Waugh stated.
“I wouldn’t say they’ve bowled poorly, however they’ve given away just a few too many boundaries at occasions after they needed to preserve the strain on.
“They’ve bowled higher than what the scoreboard exhibits … they’ve simply lacked a little bit of high quality.”
Nothing exemplified the group’s discouraging physique language greater than when Labuschagne needed to acquire the ball following a wayward throw from the boundary, with the West Indies gamers watching on.
“This isn’t a superb signal right here,” Australian cricket legend Adam Gilchrist stated on Fox Cricket.
“The throw’s come again in from that boundary, and look who fields it … not one West Indies fielder strikes there.
“All of them simply watched it and allowed the opposition to do it. That’s not good indicators.”
West Indies strike spinner Roston Chase was notably uninspiring, conceding 0/63 from his 15 overs.
The legendary Brian Lara additionally questioned the group’s subject placement and bowling rotation, arguing that part-timer Kyle Mayers ought to have rolled the arm over extra usually.
Hopefully the guests present some struggle on Thursday, in any other case Australia could possibly be lifting the Frank-Worrell Trophy in a matter of days.
UGLY ISSUES FLARE UP FOR WARNER
David Warner boasts a exceptional batting file within the West Australian capital, however the veteran opener didn’t final lengthy on the crease on Wednesday.
Within the fourth over of the day, West Indies seamer Jayden Seales dished up a full supply exterior the off stump, and Warner’s eyes lit up.
The left-hander threw his arms on the ball, just for the Kookaburra to ricochet off the within edge again onto his stumps.
No timing. No footwork. No steadiness.
It was an unsightly dismissal for Warner, who remains to be trying to find his first Check century since January 2020.
“The false stroke from David Warner and he may solely drag it into his stumps — it’s a giant blow,” former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist stated on Fox Cricket.
“The toes have been simply nowhere there. It was all tried hand-eye coordination, and it was simply an excessive amount of of a attain. An actual stretch.”
The 36-year-old is at present averaging 20.84 in Check cricket in 2022, making it comfortably the worst calendar 12 months of his profession.
His most up-to-date Check scores in Australia are 5, 0, 0 and three, marking the primary time he has failed to achieve double figures in 4 consecutive knocks on dwelling soil.
“It hasn’t been his finest 12 months,” Waugh stated.
“He would have been very eager to maintain up his good file in Australia … however I feel he would have been pissed off as a result of I really feel like he’s batting very well.
“I assume he obtained a bit of bit unfastened, he hit the 4 the earlier ball and I feel simply lacked a little bit of endurance, so he’d be disenchanted as a result of he would have beloved to have gotten off to a superb begin.
“It’s simply a type of issues – a bit of bit unfortunate. On one other day that might have missed the stumps.”
Warner has beforehand hinted his retirement from Check cricket may come within the subsequent 12 months, and this summer season may subsequently function a farewell tour for the veteran.
When questioned about his future plans on Monday, Warner advised reporters: “You’ve obtained to maintain scoring runs in any other case you folks will begin speaking about retirement.”
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KHAWAJA’S SOLID START AS HE CONTINUES TO BUILD
He couldn’t get to triple figures, however Usman Khawaja’s dwelling summer season obtained off to a promising begin on Wednesday.
The left-hander weathered the storm and posted 65 at Perth Stadium to proceed his spectacular calendar 12 months in Australian whites.
Khawaja was affected person through the first hour, leaving something exterior off and clipping wayward deliveries on the pads by means of sq. leg.
It was an old school knock from the Queenslander, who solely scored one boundary throughout his first 26 overs on the crease, a refreshing change of tempo after two months of T20 cricket.
Khawaja launched the shackles as soon as spin was launched, slapping West Indies tweaker Roston Chase over the duvet boundary for six simply earlier than the lunch break.
Runs began flowing extra ceaselessly within the afternoon session as soon as the pitch had settled and the Kookaburra misplaced its shine, with Khawaja and Labuschagne combining for a 142-run partnership earlier than the previous departed within the 53rd over to part-timer Kyle Mayers, edging a size supply by means of to the wicketkeeper.
Khawaja at present averages 95.30 in Check cricket this 12 months, with 4 fifties and 4 centuries in eight matches thus far.
It’s weird to assume that he in all probability wouldn’t have performed Check cricket this 12 months if not for Travis Head’s Covid-19 scare final summer season.
Khawaja is seemingly in his prime, benefiting from being a one-format cricketer — not like his opening associate.
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SMITH BACK AND LOOKS NEAR HIS BEST
We could possibly be watching a whole lot of Steve Smith this summer season.
The previous Australian captain introduced up his thirty seventh Check fifty on Wednesday, reaching the milestone in simply 75 deliveries.
Smith took benefit of the fatigued West Indies bowlers, repeatedly carving their seamers by means of the covers with ease.
The precise-hander mixed with Marnus Labuschagne for an unbeaten partnership of 142 off 229 balls, ending the day collectively on the crease.
Final week, Smith warned his most prolific Test summer could be ahead of him following a minor change to his distinctive batting method.
The 33-year-old has step by step adjusted his trademark back-and-across motion over the previous 12 months, reverting to a extra orthodox stance through the current ODI sequence in opposition to England.
He’s noticeably a lot stiller on the crease after tinkering together with his motion. Motion is much less exaggerated, permitting his toes, palms and torso to synchronise extra successfully, notably when on the again foot.
“I’ve began to get rhythm in my batting, one thing I’ve lacked for some time now,” Smith advised reporters in Perth on Sunday.
“I really feel like I’m in a superb place … I’m excited to hopefully spend a whole lot of time within the center this summer season.”
If Wednesday’s knock was something to go by, the West Indies and South Africa could possibly be chasing loads of leather-based this summer season.