Australia batter Marnus Labuschagne said Monday that he was “definitely” right to feature in the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan despite suffering a painful blow to his right hand while batting in the recently concluded Perth Test.
Australia were sweating on Marnus Labuschagne’s fitness after a knock to his little finger saw him sent for scans.
During the sixth over of Australia’s second innings at Perth Stadium, Pakistan debutant Khurram Shahzad produced a jaffa that jumped off a good length and struck Labuschagne on the right hand.
He eventually continued batting after the team doctor and physiotherapist had a lengthy examination of his right small finger.
But, having faced just seven more balls before being dismissed by the same bowler, he continued to receive treatment from the medicos before being sent for X-rays at the close of play.
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The scans, however, revealed no visible fracture but Marnus Labuschagne admitted that he felt discomfort while facing express pacer Lance Morris in the nets prior to the fourth-day action in Perth.
The prognosis on Marnus Labuschagne’s finger can’t be too dire. Here he is facing the Wild Thing in the nets before play. Green and Boland also going full tilt at him #AUSvPAK pic.twitter.com/01UEsEoC0V
— Louis Cameron (@LouisDBCameron) December 17, 2023
Labuschagne further revealed that he was initially afraid of sustaining structural damage to his hand, but not of an extent to the hand injury copped by Travis Head, which kept him out of the action for more than a month.
“It hit me more on the knuckle side and jammed up my hand, so I was a bit nervous out there,” Labuschagne told reporters in Perth.
“I’ve had a lot of finger blows but this felt a bit different.
“Overnight it was a little bit sore but (Sunday) morning was fine, I had a hit and it was all right.”
“I wasn’t necessarily thinking about Trav’s finger hit, but it just got me in a bit of an awkward spot.
“There was no padding on that side of the glove, and it got me sort of underneath and jammed it so it didn’t feel that good.
“But I’ve actually got some really good range in it, so all good.”
For the unversed, Marnus Labuschagne was retained in the “trimmed” Australia squad for the upcoming Boxing Day Test against Pakistan, which saw the omission of right-arm pacer Lance Morris.
The lanky pacer will return to Perth Scorchers, who next face Hobart Hurricanes on Wednesday.
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Steve Smith, Mitch Starc, David Warner.
Pakistan squad: Shan Masood (c), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi.