Root defends controversial Labuschagne catch
Aussie shrugs off circumstances of his dismissal after team hold on for draw but England captain quick to defend his claimed catch
19 August 2019, 05:04 PM AEST
Marnus Labuschagne has brushed off his controversial dismissal in the Lord's Test, with any lingering disappointment swept aside when the Test was drawn to leave the visitors one win away from retaining the Ashes.
England captain Joe Root was forced to defend the low catch he claimed on Sunday to remove Labuschagne, who had struck an important half-century as Test cricket's first ever concussion substitute.
With 11 overs left in the final day's play, the Queenslander's 100-ball vigil game to an end when a sweep shot off England spinner Jack Leach rebounded off the short-leg fielder, with Root taking a diving catch at mid-wicket.
Labuschagne stood his ground as Root claimed his fingers had been under the ball, and the umpires sent the decision to third umpire Joel Wilson to review.
"You can feel your fingers underneath the ball. You look at slo-mos and they always look worse than they are," Root said after the Test concluded.
"As a fielder you know if your fingers are under the ball. I clearly felt that was the case.
"I'm an honest guy, I am not going to try and cheat the game regardless of the situation.
"It is quite disappointing when it's slowed down and people start to question your integrity. We play the game in a certain way, and that's the right way."
Labuschagne exchanged words with Root and shook his head in disagreement after Umpire Wilson confirmed the dismissal, later saying he was more disappointed to have left the team in a precarious position.
"As a fielder sometimes you feel like you've caught it and that may have been the case," Labuschagne said.
"But definitely, when I saw it on replay I was like, 'it looks like it bounced'.
"But I'm not an umpiring professional so we'll leave it to them.
"I was just disappointed to get out that way to put us under a little bit of pressure. That was disappointing from my end."
Labuschagne's two-hour stay at the crease helped preserve Australia's 1-0 series lead in the Ashes, meaning they need just one win from the final three Tests to retain the urn.
Australia captain Tim Paine praised the efforts of the 25-year-old, who recovered from a Jofra Archer bouncer to the grille from just his second delivery to hit his second Test fifty.
"Marnus played superbly for a guy in his (sixth) Test," Paine said after play.
"He got hit hard in the face second ball and I thought he showed great character, great skill and technique.
"We know Marnus is a quality player and he's getting better all the time. We're happy with the way he played."
2019 Qantas Ashes Tour of England
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
England squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.
First Test: Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston
Second Test: Match drawn at Lord's
Third Test: August 22-26, Headingley
Tour match: Australians v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: September 4-8, Old Trafford
Fifth Test: September 12-16, The Oval