Australia overcomes key injuries and moves closer to series win

Alex Carey celebrates his first Test century for Australia.

Alex Carey celebrates his first Test century for Australia.Credit:Getty

Australia would like the option of playing two spinners on an SCG pitch that spun during a Sheffield Shield game earlier in the season, but without Green’s heavy change bowling as a third seamer, double spinners become a more difficult scenario.

Carey could well move up to 6th instead of Green given his current form. He averages almost 40 out of 14 Tests, better than any member of the South Africa squad.

This would allow Sear Michael Neser to squeeze in at No. 7 given his improving Shield form with the at-bat, which includes a century for Queensland earlier this season.

Should Starc be left out, the selectors could choose to play two fast bowlers of Scott Boland, the recovered Josh Hazlewood and speedster Lance Morris alongside Cummins and Lyon, or just one if a second spinner was selected. Leg spinner Mitchell Swepson and left arm finger spinner Ashton Agar, who also has three top-notch centuries, would be the front runners.

It’s hard to believe that just over four months ago South Africa beat England in three days by one innings and 12 runs at Lord’s to take a 1-0 lead in their three-game Test series and the top spot in the ICC World Test Championship to consolidate positions.

Given their recent history and their ill-equipped batting line-up, South Africa will do well to reach as many as David Warner’s 200, which they have failed to do in the last seven Test innings.


It would be even worse for the visitors if Warner had made a low catch off a Cummins ledge on Theunis de Bruyn’s first slip when the batsman was three.

In the third over on Wednesday morning, South Africa threw a short counterattack. The unreserved and unlucky Anrich Nortje had a hat-trick after bowling Travis Head (51) and David Warner (200) with back-to-back deliveries.

After retiring with a glorious 200 injured the previous day after a seizure, Warner returned to the crease to hearty applause, was stunned when his first ball slammed into his back pad and then his stumps, and slowly walked away, taking his Racket uncertain raised more applause.

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Ryan Sederquist

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