Bruised Smith to front up for more Pakistan bouncers

Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood has praised the bravery of Steve Smith and expects the former skipper to put his body on the line yet again when he returns to a cracking Optus Stadium wicket.

Smith was struck twice by rising Shaheen Afridi deliveries on Saturday, but he made it through to stumps unbeaten on 43.

The 34-year-old's steadying knock helped Australia recover from 2-5 to reach 2-84, an overall lead of 300 with two full days to play.

With the Optus Stadium deck starting to crack up and create a few worries, runs could be hard to come by.

Pakistan employed a bodyline-style approach to Smith, and a late blow to his left arm particularly hurt. 

Marnus Labuschagne also copped punishment, with the No.3 sent off for scans after being struck on the little finger of his right hand by a wildly seaming Khurram Shahzad delivery.

If scans show a fracture, Labuschagne could miss the Boxing Day Test.

Labuschagne was dismissed for two a short time after copping the blow, but Smith will be out to face the music when play resumes on Sunday.

Hazlewood is backing Smith to take any more hits in his stride.

"He's incredibly brave," Hazlewood said.

"I think it's probably going to be tougher to play the short ball than in the first innings.

"Batting looked pretty tough there at the end. I think the cracks are starting to definitely come into play."

Marnus cops on on hand
Marnus Labuschagne needed medical attention to his hand at Optus Stadium.

Pakistan's batting coach Adam Hollioake has identified a part of the wicket that could prove to be a crucial weapon for the bowlers.

"I walked out there in between innings and there is an area on a good length something between six metres and seven metres," Hollioake said.

"It's a little bit outside off stump. It's small at the moment but let's see if that opens up.

"I mean it's not as bad as some of the ones we've seen in the history of the WACA. It's not alarming.

"But it's something to aim at. I think it would be in the batsman's mind a little bit."

Assuming they avoid a massive collapse, Australia are expected to declare approximately midway through day four, with a lead in excess of 450.

After that, all eyes will turn to Nathan Lyon as the star offspinner attempts to snare Test wicket No.500.

Lyon's three first-innings wickets lifted his tally to 499, and he had the chance to take the 500th then and there before Travis Head snared the wicket of No.11 Shaheen.

Australia could see the funny side of the situation. 

"Travis said when they replay your 500th wicket, you don't want it to be a tail ender, you want it to be a good wicket at the top," Hazlewood said with a smile.

"We'll see it happen in the second innings hopefully."

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store