Test star Marnus Labuschagne copped some stick for not wanting to bat on a pitch deemed dangerous in Adelaide but did return to work on Wednesday.
Wary of the opening-day perils he faced batting on a pitch deemed too dangerous, Test star Marnus Labuschagne added extra protection when play resumed in Queensland’s Sheffield Shield clash with South Australia on Wednesday.
Labuschagne was central to discussions with match officials on Tuesday when, after 50 overs following a rain-delayed start, he was subjected to a barrage of tricky deliveries that landed in a damp section of the pitch and bounced up to his chin.
Balls reared up with a nasty amount of bounce and rocketed towards the batters’ heads as he and Queensland opener Bryce Street tried to navigate the tricky conditions.
Eventually, play was halted, the pitch inspected and match referee Steve Davis, a former Test umpire, conceded it would be “dangerous” to continue.
“It’s not undulated,” Davis said of the problem area on the pitch.
“It’s an area where the ball is sticking a bit, so there’s obviously some dampness underneath.”
Play resumed without issue on Wednesday as Street passed 50 and Labuschagne 30 as they got through the opening 10 overs without issue and Queensland reached 100 just one wicket down.
However, Street’s patient innings came to an end for 87 from 226 after he was caught behind by Alex Carey off a Liam Scott delivery.
Usman Khawaja made the walk to the middle as he hopes to stake his claim for the number five spot in Australia’s batting order for the Ashes but he only got to face seven deliveries before rain wreaked havoc yet again, forcing the players off the pitch and an early lunch to be taken.
After play was halted on day one, Davis said both teams agreed to the move.
“It’s only about a metre square, but obviously once you see a ball doing that, if you’re any sort of bowler you’re going to aim for that spot,’ he said.
“There’s a potential of it being dangerous,
“It was obvious the umpires had some concerns and the players had some concerns.
“There was a couple of people that were hit on the gloves and in the stomach area, and it was just behaving a bit unusually and that always gives you a bit of an alert.
“Both captains were very reasonable about it.”