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King Carey’s crowning MCG moment

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The Aussies will bowl again however, and will be two options down as Cameron Green joins Mitchell Starc on the sidelines.Follow all the action from day 3 at the MCG live here. Day two fact boxWell played Alex Carey! The Australian wicketkeeper has his first Test hundred in his 14th Test. His 100 came from 133 balls and has included 13 fours. As Nic points out below, one incident seems to have really sparked his batting. Can Alex Carey score a first Test ton? The Australian wicketkeeper has eclipsed his previous high score of 93, which came on the Pakistan tour earlier this year. Earlier, Trent Copeland summed up where he thought the South Africans had gone wrong bowling to Carey. Speaking on Channel 7, he said: “That really is his strength, that driving through the covers zone.“If you’re in tight with him he’s been pretty circumspect, but 123 (strike rate) outside the off stump.”Carey’s knock might convince selectors to elevate him to no.6 for the Sydney test, leaving the no.7 spot open for a bowling all-rounder to come in for the injured Cameron Green, Copeland said. 1.45PM GREEN’S PLACE IN HISTORY SUMMED UPCheck out the rarefied air Cameron Green is in after a fine start to his Test career. The all-rounder continues to bat on with a fractured finger alongside Alex Carey. 1.30PM SPIDER CAM OPERATOR STOOD DOWN The Spider Cam operator involved in Tuesday’s incident with South African quick Anrich Nortje has been stood down. Fox Cricket has confirmed the camera operator had been stood down on Wednesday afternoon. The camera has been back in operation on Wednesday, with the South Africans still in the field. The camera collided with Nortje while he was in the field on day two but the Proteas quick said after play it had no impact on his bowling. Earlier, Australian Cricketers Association boss Todd Greenberg told SEN: “I saw thathappen live and when he went down I was genuinely concerned … it did knock himoff his feet. “That would be very disconcerting for a player on the field whenyour only focus is on the ball, It’s obviously human error, but something we can’tsee happen again.“ I have spoken to CA about that and I have spoken to the broadcasterswho have formalized some things so that won’t happen again. “Clearly it’s an error which shouldn’t happen and won’t happen again.”1.05PM AUSSIES OUT TO PROLONG SA MISERY Alex Carey has given an insight into Australia’s ruthless mindset as it looks to prolong South Africa’s misery in the field deep into day three. The wicketkeeper will resume in the second session with Cameron Green after lifting Australia’s lead to 290 runs at the break. Carey said Australia was likely to bat deep into the day, pending another South African rally with the ball. “I think we’ll go hopefully as long as we can. The wicket’s still pretty good. We’d like to get a few more runs and hopefully Greeny and I can consolidate after lunch,” he told Fox Cricket. Carey praised the courage of Green, who is batting with a fractured finger. “He’s really positive. As we can see he’s getting in behind them, he’s putting on a brave face and nothing changes when batting with Greeny now,” he said. 12.55PM SA QUICK RESPONDS TO SPIDER CAM INCIDENT Owen LeonardSouth African fast bowler Anrich Nortje says players have previously expressed concern about how low ‘spider’ cameras fly over the ground after he was struck in the field by one on Tuesday.Nortje was walking square of the wicket between overs when the spider cam, or ‘Flying Fox’ as it is branded on Fox Cricket, struck him at speed from behind, clipping the back of his left shoulder and elbow.“I saw cables, moved around, turned my head and saw the cam, but I was a little bit too late. It was quite quick,” he said.“The one thing we’ve spoken about earlier is how low it is and it probably shouldn’t be.“Unless it’s for interviews or something – I don’t know for certain – but I don’t think it should be travelling head height.”Nortje said his elbow was “a bit sore” but felt unscathed otherwise.“It didn’t really change my mindset. I tried to stay focused,” he said.CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY When will Australia declare?The Aussies seem to be delaying the inevitable, whether it’s so Alex Carey can chase a maiden Test ton or the bowlers can rest up before what looms as an almighty workload in the second innings. Mitch Starc is available but Pat Cummins, Scott Boland and Nathan Lyon will have to do the heavy lifting. Marnus Labuschagne is expected to bowl seamers, while Travis Head is another option Cummins might have to turn to with Cam Green injured. When should Australia declare? Former Proteas captain Shaun Pollock told Fox Cricket the bowling injuries would be a huge factor. “It’s interesting to see what the Australians will do,” Pollock said. “You’d think it would get to a declaration at some stage. “But I suppose they have to weigh up lack of bowling options and how you don’t give too much of a workload before tea. “Maybe after tea, then you’ve got a nice rest. That would be in their talk.”Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland have both been padded up in the Australian change rooms suggesting a declaration is unlikely soon. 12.15PM SHOULD VICTORIAN BE IN SCG TALK?Kerry O’Keefe and Ricky Ponting touted Aaron Hardie as a potential bolter for the SCG Test — but what about Will Sutherland? These all-round numbers are pretty compelling...I think it’s more likely Alex Carey bats at six, Ashton Agar comes in for seven and then the bowlers. But it’s an interesting debate nonetheless. Alex Carey produces a crisp straight drive to reach his half-century from 66 balls and has definitely upped his scoring rate since Nathan Lyon came in. Cam Green is providing a willing ally for now as Carey chases his first Test century. Carey has three Test fifties and a high score of 93 from his 14 Test matches. Peter Lalor reports...Lance Morris, the most exciting fast bowler in Australian cricket, looks set to make his debut in the Sydney Test.Australia is two bowlers down: Cameron Green is out with a broken finger and Mitchell Starc with a torn ligament.The Australians will add a second spin option to the squad and watch the toll on Pat Cummins and Scott Boland who are the two remaining seamers in the team and the ones who will have to do the heavy lifting.There is enough in the wicket to bowl the South Africans out quickly but are there enough bowlers to complete the task?Expect to see Marnus Labuschagne sending down a lot of seamers in what is left of the match.In a worst-case scenario there has to be more changes for the final Test if Boland and Cummins’ workloads are too heavy.Morris, who has picked up the moniker “wild thing”, bowls in excess of 150km/h and was brought into the squad in Adelaide as cover for Starc, while Boland came in as cover for Hazlewood.It would be a terrible blow for Hazlewood if he was overlooked as he has missed a lot of cricket in the past 12 months, but there may be more opportunities at the SCG depending on South Africa’s resistance.Coach Andrew McDonald indicated that Morris could make his debut, saying they were focused on the balance of the squad and “we always look to complement the attack”.“There’s clearly a role there for him, if Mitchell Starc was to go down, so he may be looking like he’ll get an opportunity in Sydney depending on the balance of that attack.”Reports from NSW are that Sydney will be dry and favour slow bowling.“If we bring a spinner into the squad for Sydney it will be based on the conditions,” he told SEN.“There’s a lot of cricket still left here, there’s a decent gap between this Test and the next one as well. It’s not a three-day turnaround as some have been.”And Cameron Green will bat again, joining Alex Carey. You sense this might be the last partnership before a declaration from the Australians. 11.30AM ‘FASTEST I’VE FACED’: WARNER PRAISE FOR NORTJE Andy Bellairs Anrich Nortje’s lightning quick spell yesterday has drawn plaudits from Australia’s double centurian David Warner.Speaking on Fox Cricket, Warner admitted he had never faced bowling that quick. “That was the fastest spell I’ve ever faced in my Test career,” Warner said on Channel 7.“That was extraordinary. And in this heat, just to keep coming in ball after ball, delivering 150km/h plus...it was awesome stuff from him. “You know what’s coming at you. The hardest thing is trying to get in position to either pull it or get out of the way. I got lidded (hit on the helmet) and I can’t remember the last time I got lidded in a game.”Nortje was clocked at 155kph on multiple occasions in the spell.Pat Cummins is given out on DRS and South Africa has three wickets in the blink of an eye.Although the edge was only faint, former umpire Simon Taufel confirmed it was the correct decision on Channel 7. He said: “In consultation with with th technology providers, we did develo a conclusive evidence protocol. Part of that protocol has got some redundancy built into that. Hot spot doesn’t always show us a mark and when it doesn’t show us a mark we then revert to real-time Snicko in this particular case. “Chris Gaffney applied tahat conclusive evidence protocol exactly correctly. There was a spike as the ball went past the bat or up to one frame past the bat, which allows for a little bit of a timing delay as sound travels towards the stump microphone. “Chris Gaffney as third umpire absolutely, well and truly got that spot on with that spike.”`Nortje is on a hat-trick out of nowhere! Pat Cummins keeps out the hat-trick ball but Nortje finally gets some rewards for his tireless spells on day two. Travis Head missed a ball on the stumps trying to play through the leg side before Nortje ripped through the defences od Warner next ball. 10.57AM ELGAR ‘PLAYING FOR HIS CAPTAINCY’Former Test quick Damien Fleming says South African skipper Dean Elgar risks losing the captaincy unless his team’s horror tour of Australia improves. After twice being routed on a Gabba green top, the tourists are staring at a deficit well beyond 200 runs in the first innings in Melbourne. Speaking on SEN Cricket, Fleming said Elgar was under immense pressure. “Elgar is playing for his captaincy career, and then everyone outside of Verreynne is playing for their career,” he said before day three. Simon Katich said Elgar’s tactics on day two, where Australia amassed runs with ease, were “terrible”. “I thought Elgar was terrible yesterday with his tactics and decision making,” Katich said on SEN Breakfast.“Bowlers couldn’t build up any pressure with the fields that he set.“Then they couldn’t bowl the right length with the new ball because the field (Elgar) set with a short leg and no protection on the leg side.“On the MCG, you attack the stumps for bowled, lbw and bringing the keeper and slips in the game.“Jansen was excellent but was hardly given the ball.” And it’s raining again at the MCG....10.30AM SKULL’S SCG BOLTERKerry O’Keefe has urged Australian selectors to name Western Australian all-rounder Aaron Hardie as a Test bolter for Sydney to replace Cameron Green. Green has been ruled out of the SCG Test and will not take part in the BBL, with O’Keefe floating his Perth Scorchers teammate Hardie as a like-for-like replacement for the third Test against South Africa. Hardie averages 44 runs from 19 first-class matches and has 41 wickets. The 23-year-old has been earmarked as a potential Australian player, featuring on the Australia A tour of Sri Lanka this year. If Australia picks a second spinner in Sydney, who should play? “If I was George Bailey, my bowling attack for Sydney would be Cummins, Boland, Aaron Hardie, Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy,” O’Keefe said on Fox Cricket. “I’d bring in Aaron Hardie for Cameron Green and I’d bring in the second spinner on a Sydney Cricket Ground turner. “And the second best spinner is also an off-spinner, so I’d go with him.”Former Aussie Test skipper Ricky Ponting agreed with O’Keefe’s Hardie assessment, telling Channel 7: “The most recognisable like-for-like I can think of for Cam Green’s replacement for Sydney is someone like Aaron Hardie. “Another West Australian all-rounder. Very talented youngster. We have seen him probably make his mark on the shorter forms of the game so far more than anything else but he did get a hundred in the Shield final last year. “And (he) can bowl some handy overs. Bit of a smoky there.”10.22AM NORTJE’S HILARIOUS TAKE ON SPIDER CAM DRAMA We’ve got to pay this one...For those who missed it, Nortje was hit by the spider cam on day two. When will the Boxing Day Test finish?The good news from the MCG is the covers are off and barring any more rain we’ll have a start which is only delayed 15 minutes. GREEN INJURY LEAVES AUSSIES TWO BOWLERS DOWN- Peter LalorCameron Green, the hero of Australia’s first innings bowling effort in the Boxing Day Test, has a broken finger, leaving the hosts almost 200 runs ahead but two bowlers down. Australian coach Andrew McDonald confirmed Green’s fractured finger on SEN this morning.McDonald confirmed that Mitchell Starc could yet bowl in the second innings in Melbourne despite an injury which is expected to sideline him for six weeks while Green will be unable to bowl, but will bat with the “small fracture” if necessary. Green, 23, took 5-27 in the best performance of his career on day one of the Test and picked up $3.15m at the IPL auction on Friday. McDonald flagged a possible Test debut for Western Australian tearaway left-armer Lance Morris in Sydney as a like-for-like replacement for Mitch Starc.Mc Donald also suggested that if a second spinner were selected in Sydney, it would be the player who best compliments the attack, not necessarily the second best spinner in Australia.This could pave the way for left-armer Ashton Agar to replace Cameron Green due to his ability with the bat.David Warner has been confirmed as the next better in if Australia loses a wicket early today after retiring hurt on 200 with cramp late on day 2.Warner’s friend and former nemesis Joe Root scored 218 in his 100th Test and the Australian may be tempted to attempt to knock off that record. He is one of only 10 batsman to score a century in his landmark match. Ricky Ponting is the only other Australian.The former captain scored centuries in both innings of his 100th.In bad news for cricket lovers there is rain falling at the MCG and the covers are on an hour before play, but the weather is expected to clear. The bureau is expecting a cool change which will be a relief after the second day when the mercury reached 37C, causing numerous players to cramp.ROCK BOTTOM: SA BATSMEN FINALLY BREAK TEAMMATESIs this South Africa’s “Hobart’’ moment?The point where you nose dive into the bottom of the barrel with so much force you realise that unless something changes you are going to crash straight through it.There are some ardent fans of South African cricket who are actually hoping that if the Proteas lose this Test they lose it really, really – really – badly so the push for change becomes overwhelming.South Africa were in danger of melting into oblivion at the MCG on day two of the Boxing Day Test but six years ago in chilly Hobart the polar opposite was happening.South Africa romped to a series victory when they crushed Australia by an innings and 80 runs effectively dumped Australia back at ground zero.Several angry Cricket Australia executives addressed the team after the match saying it was time for Australian cricket to regain its lost edge.Some say this was the start of the road to Sandpapergate but what is not in dispute was it was the turning point that made Australia look at itself from top to bottom and realise things could never get this desperate again.And they never have.South Africa’s cricket system is at that point now. It’s a mess.Bowling is their strong suit – and their long suit – yet it appears the strain on their bowling attack of constantly having to defend small totals has reached breaking point and part of the reason why their bowlers took just one wicket on a heartbreaking day two of the Test.The South African top order are so poor they have six consecutive sub-200 scores in Tests.Their first class system features eight teams playing seven games a year.It’s hardly overkill.Incredibly, South Africa won their last three series in Australia yet there was always a feeling they got there despite their system and not because of it.The talent drain from South Africa to other nations is a perpetual strain on their Test team.It takes no imagination to pick a competitive international 12 from South African born players either playing overseas or unavailable for Test selection who would give the current motley crew a decent Test.Try Keaton Jennings, Jason Roy, Marnus Labuschagne, Colin Munroe, Glenn Phillips, Faf du Plessis, Devon Conway, Quinton de Kock, Tom Curran, Kyle Abbott, Michael Neser and Neil Wagner.If even two or three of these players were playing for the current Proteas team they could have made a major difference.Updates to story
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