World No. 1 Test batter Marnus Labuschagne on Wednesday said that losing his wicket against South Africa on Day 1 of the Sydney Test was upsetting. The right-handed hitter also mentioned that it was dark and challenging to see the red ball in that environment.
South Africa was confident that Simon Harmer had taken a clean catch from Marnus Labuschagne in the slips, despite the third umpire ruling it not out. In the 40th over, with the score at 70, Labuschagne escaped a disputed catch at slip by Simon Harmer off the bowling of Marco Jansen. In response to the call, South Africa expressed its unhappiness. However, it was a discouraging day for the spectators as just 47 overs could be played because of frequent delays in poor lighting and rain.
“Definitely very frustrated. It always makes you very angry as a batter when you get out and then everyone walks with you off the field. But at the end of the day, Nortje bowled a really good set there and backed it up, bowled four or five balls in the same spot and that one just kicked. It certainly was dark. The red ball under lights, it just doesn’t stand out,” he stated, as quoted by cricket.com.au.
While Labuschagne acknowledges that the clash of two elite teams should make for an intriguing encounter, he thinks the setting wasn’t secure enough. Additionally, he believes that such circumstances pose a risk to the fielders. “The reality is it’s got to be safe, and when you’ve got two fast-bowling teams you can’t be out there when it’s too dark. Of course, we want to entertain a stacked crowd but it doesn’t always work like that. So it’s quite tough. And I think it’s probably more dangerous for the fielders because you just can’t see it square of the wicket and in the slips, whereas the batters you’ve got a sightscreen and a white backdrop to get the best chance,” Labuschagne said.
Coming to the match, half-centuries from Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne put Australia in a comfortable position at the end of the first day of play of the third and final Test against South Africa at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday. At the end of the day’s play, Usman Khawaja (54*) was unbeaten at the crease.