The Centralian Advocate Fri 8 Jan 2021
Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Australia, Central -- Newspapers
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News Corp Australia
FRIDAY JANUARY 8 2021 SPORT 37 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA David Warner in action during day one of the third Test between Australia and India at the SCG. Picture: Getty HAS Australia asked too much of David Warner? This was the question hovering around the SCG yesterday after the star opener hobbled and grimaced through his first attempt at a quick single only to last another five balls at the crease. Less than six weeks after tearing his groin at the same ground, Warner was rushed back by a desperate Australia, who acknowledged they were taking a calculated risk for the must-win Test. As courageous as it was for Warner to answer an SOS from his team and put his hand up to play despite knowing he wasnt close to full fitness, Australia may have underestimated the fact he is a bull-at-a-gate runner who doesnt keep anything in the tank. Test greats Ricky Ponting and Michael Slater felt there was a correlation between Warner struggling through two quick singles, and his decision to swing at a couple of wide ones outside off, the second of which had him out edging to slip off Mohammed Siraj. Australian coach Justin Langer declared pre-match that although his warrior wasnt 100 per cent, it was highly unlikely Warner could re-injure himself again. Yesterday the early word out of the camp was there had been no aggravation or further damage caused. Ponting had his fingers crossed. I think everyone knew that he probably wasnt going to be 100 per cent coming into the Test match. The only thing I hope is that he hasnt tweaked it again, doing something more there, he said on Channel 7. It was pretty much from that moment on that those loose shots started. So hopefully it wasnt playing on his mind. Hopefully hes OK and hopefully we can just say that thats the way David Warner plays a shot like that early on in a Test match. Its hard to be too critical of Australia for sensing it was crucial for Warner to be rushed back with the scoreboard reading 1-1 and the Australians lacking their usual tempo and fear factor without him during the first two Tests. But it was always going to be a big ask, and now its clear Australia have a big task to nurse him through two innings in the field and another one back at the crease. HUGE ASK TO NURSE WARNER THROUGH SERIES BEN HORNE INDIAS whispering campaign to boycott the Brisbane Test has reached flashpoint, with SCG ground staff needing to know today if theyre required to save the $300m series. Cricket Australia yesterday held productive crisis talks with their BCCI counterparts and remain confident that the threats to the tour from within the Indian camp will not be backed by the big bosses. Its understood India has concerns that Queensland might force it into a stringent hotel lockdown. However, CA interim chief executive Nick Hockley has assured them that players will not be confined to their rooms. Queensland is set to keep its border to NSW shut today, ruling out quarantine requirements being relaxed. Meanwhile, there was a development that a Queensland COVID-hotel cleaner contracting the virus could affect crowds at the Gabba, should the fourth Test go ahead. D-Day for SCG Test answer BEN HORNE Iron Will shows his class AUSTRALIAS malfunctioning batting line-up might have found their man of the future, with Will Pucovski hailed an instant Test match star. Two years ago Pucovski was unsure whether he even wanted to continue playing the game following his turbulent setbacks with concussion and mental health. But yesterday in front of a mask-wearing crowd of 8692, Australia discovered that Pucovski was worth the wait. Pucovski and last summers breakout star Marnus Labuschagne combined for Australias first century partnership of the series to prove that theyre the present and future of the batting engine room. Last weeks batting calamities in Melbourne were soothed by a revamped Australian batting order that played with noticeably more intent and aggression than they did in the embarrassing Boxing Day Test loss to finish a rain-interrupted day one at the SCG solidly placed at 2-166. Labuschagne (67 not out) typified the slight upping of purpose from Australias batsmen, applauding Pucovskis aggressive shots and instantly rediscovering his groove on a ground which must almost rank as his favourite in the world. Steve Smith (31 not out) was hyperactive when he first came to the wicket, as if his reflexes were supercharged, and the batting superstar started to look more like himself. Pucovski was dropped twice in quick succession in a howling performance by fumbling wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and India butchered a run-out chance as well. But if anyone deserved a bit of luck it was the Victorian who had three times previously been denied a Test debut in the most agonising of circumstances. Pucovski was eventually trapped lbw for 62, but Test great Ricky Ponting had seen enough to declare a generational talent had announced himself at his first opportunity. The thing Ive been impressed with most about him has been his demeanour through the day. Nothing has really seemed to faze him. He has been really impressive, said Ponting on Channel 7. Hes had his setbacks along the way, but he just seems like a well-rounded young bloke, who has had some hiccups along the way. But he seems like hes on top of that now and well keep our fingers crossed and hope that he can stay fit and healthy for the next 10 years. Labuschagne had made starts in each of the first two Tests, but lacked fluency which defined his magic summer 12 months earier. The Queenslander rediscovered his mojo. BEN HORNE AU res, 13+ only. Parent/guardian approval required for 13-17 y/o. Starts 9am (AEDT) 07/01/2021 & ends 11:59pm (AEDT) 21/01/2021. Entrants must, on their own Instagram, follow the @buckethead_coach page, record their best banter using the Buckethead filter, post the recording and tag @buckethead_coach and hashtag #bucketheadcoach on their post. Entrants must follow page for entire comp period. Each entry must be unique. See www.bucketheadcoach.com.au for full conditions inc. privacy statement. Nationwide News Pty Limited (ABN 98 008 438 828), 2 Holt Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010. THINK YOU CAN BANTER WITH THE BEST? HIT US WITH YOU R BEST SHOT AT BUCKETHEADCO ACH.COM.AUA BUCKETLOAD O F CASH. A BUCKETLOAD O F CASH. A BUCKETLOAD O F CASH. Y OUR CHANCE TO WIN A BUCKETLOAD O F CASH. THERES $11K UP FOR GRABS!
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