Justin Langer’s reaction said it all.
For the second time in a matter of hours, Australia decided not to review a caught-behind.
At least they decided to appeal for the wicket of Dawid Malan on the second occasion. They just did not have the conviction to follow through with the appeal.
Langer, having witnessed Australia not appeal for Rory Burns’ wicket in the opening over off Mitchell Starc, threw his head back in disbelief. The players out in the middle won’t want to see the replays of snicko or the under-siege coach, who is bidding to have his contract extended.
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Malan was on 13 and England were 2-44 from 15.3 overs when the left-hander was caught on the crease to Cameron Green and a loud noise was heard, which had the home side go up and appeal.
“Someone said they heard two, but I think that was Marnus (Labuschagne) that said he heard two noises,” said Mark Waugh, referring to the Australian top order batsman’s overzealous appealing that was on full display in Sydney.
Originally it looked like the ball hitting the top of the back pad, at least that is what captain Pat Cummins thought, but very quickly replays revealed a little edge.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing another look of this. I’ll tell you what, I reckon that’s out,” Brett Lee said. “Watch the seam position. His bat is a mile away from his pad. That’s out.”
Brendon Julian agreed, as cameras showed Langer looking frustrated inside the Australian viewing room.
“It looks like he’s hit it. Look at that, bang, noise, it couldn’t have been anything else JL,” he said.
“Could it have been two dismissals we’ve seen?”
Malan was eventually out caught behind, as the first-drop got a tickle down the leg-side and was easily caught behind Alex Carey.
Earlier, Rory Burns’ horror Ashes series has continued.
Recalled for the fifth and final Test after being dropped after the second match, the opener was forced to go for a duck.
It was his eighth duck in the 31-year-old’s past 22 innings in Test cricket.
The recalled opener would have felt a bit unfortunate, as he was forced to trudge off after being run out by some clean fielding from Marnus Labuschagne in the covers.
Yet, just four balls earlier, Burns appeared to get a feather on the final ball of Mitchell Starc’s first over.
“I heard a noise there through stump-cam,” Shane Warne said in commentary on Fox Cricket.
“A big noise, whether it was the bat hitting the pad or something. I was expecting a huge appeal.
“He didn’t hit it, did he?”
“The Australians weren’t up at all,” Warne’s former teammate Mike Hussey replied.
Replays however showed Burns did outside edge the probing delivery outside the line of off-stump, with the noise confirmed by a spike on snicko.
“I’ll tell you what, that is a huge noise,” Warne said.
“I’ll tell you what, I reckon he’s absolutely smashed that. He’s hit that. He’s hit it. There’s a big spike on snicko as well.”
The blunder did not come back to haunt the home side however, as Burns sat on his haunches and was run out just three deliveries later.
“Well he was out twice, Burns, in 10 balls he was out twice,” Warne said, with a sense of amusement.
“Caught-behind and no-one appealed for it, and now the run out.
“There was a run there straight away. Zak Crawley drops it down there, says ‘yes’ straight away and Burns is a bit slow, that slight hesitation didn’t allow him to get home.”
“It was actually good batting from Crawley,” Hussey said, “but Burns was slow to go.”
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With runs hard to come by and England’s openers struggling throughout the series, Warne hit out at Burns’ lack of awareness in needing to rotate the strike.
“There was a run there, he was just slow to react.” Warne said.
“When you’re facing this quality of attack with the new ball, that drop and run is just such an important single to get off-strike and (allow someone to) bowl ball after ball at you. You’ve got to be aware of that; Burns had just no match awareness whatsoever.”