What a way to wrap the first day back of the new Australian Test Cricket season here at Optus Stadium in Perth, as Australia will pick up on Day 2 at 293-2 v West Indies.
Yes, the start has been been shaky having won the toss & chose to bat first when Dave Warner was clean-bowled early by Jayden Seales, while Usman Khawaja wasn’t bad as the other left-hand opener that helped Australia get the ball rolling until he was caught behind on 65 by Joshua Da Silva off Kyle Mayers.
However, Marnus Labuschagne – who is our main man right now – has been exceptional all along since he came in after Warner’s early dismissal at No.3.
Not only he got away with a half-century but also converted into a century before he’s still standing right now, having just got past the 150 mark on 154* runs not out off 270 balls. So much class there from a player who continues to make the first-drop role on his own – which has been happening for the last three years since he was thrown at the deep end after Steve Smith’s concussion at the time v England (away).
Speaking of Smith, he too played a supportive role of Labuschagne & also Australia’s turnaround during the second half of Day 1 with a 50 for himself. He will look to try and convert into another Test 100 on 59* not out off 107 balls.
So staying a bit longer in the middle to see both Smith & Labuschagne a 100 & 200 respectively would be nice to declare Australia’s first-innings spell, before they delcare at some point on Day 2 & bring the bowlers in to do damage so they’re a few steps ahead towards wrapping up this Test match 1-0.
Meanwhile, West Indies have been stuck in a rut ever since they got away with Warner earlier yesterday. Splitting the Labuschagne-Smith stand would brighten up the start of Day 2 after a much-needed rest overnight, but then they will need to dig deeper when WI look to bowl them all out first ASAP before they will get tested with the bat where is the jury is on them to match & better Australia’s 1st innings scorecard.