Headingley, Australia opener David Warner was full of praise for Marnus Labuschagne, after the youngster made a second consecutive fifty-plus score in the Ashes, on a rain-marred opening day of the third Test at Headingley. The 25-year-old South African-born cricketer made his Ashes debut in the fourth innings of the previous Test, at Lord’s, coming in as a concussion replacement for Australia’s star batsman Steve Smith, who was pulled from the Test after suffering a sickening blow to the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer on the fourth day.
On Thursday, the opening day at Headingley, only Warner (61) and Labuschagne (74) played notable knocks, while the rest of the line-up crumbled as England bowled Australia out for 179. Warner shared a crucial 111-run stand for the third wicket with Labuschagne, an ICC report said.
“I thought Marnus was outstanding with his discipline,” Warner said after play.
“Coming here and playing county cricket for Glamorgan, scoring runs and
knowing where his off-stump is has paid off. He’s got a lot of fight in him, and
it was great to talk through our innings out in the middle.”
“For us, it was about pushing the field. We always spoke about running
between wickets and we pushed the field as much as we could. That can
break up some tension when they’re bowling well. Just little things we were
ticking over in our minds, we were running hard, we were leaving well, but
make sure we are being ultra positive and that’s probably why we got that
period,” said Warner.
Warner himself had struggled to find form in the first two Tests, having
scored only in single digits – 2, 8, 3 and 5 – before clicking here.
“I was always confident I could find form,” he said. “Good balls were getting
me out, and that happens in this form of the game. I got another one today.
It was very challenging in that first half-hour. I probably played and missed
35 times, but that happens and a little bit of luck comes into it. You just have
to work out how to survive.”