Neil Wagner’s relentless ‘Bodyline’ bowling to Steve Smith has continued in the third Test at the SCG, where the Aussie star experienced a bizarre first in his Test career.
Coming to the crease just after lunch on Friday, Smith scratched around for nearly an hour but simply could not get off the mark.
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He finally scored his first run after an astonishing 39 balls, comfortably beating his previous record of 23 before scoring.
"We are seeing something rather extraordinary unfold at the SCG," Alison Mitchell said in commentary for Channel 7.
"Smith has never looked less like he is in a bubble. Everything has been distracting him, he has been noticing everything."
There was an almighty eruption of mock applause from the crowd when Smith finally broke the shackles, and Wagner gave him a congratulatory fist bump.
Although he nearly ran out Marnus Labuschagne while scampering through for the run.
“That’s the hardest he’s ever had to work to get one run,” Ricky Ponting said in commentary.
It actually marked the most balls faced by an Australian batsman before getting off the mark since David Boon in 1991.
The SCG just erupted into the most incredible cheer for a single to get off the mark I’ve ever been a part of. Steve Smith moves to 1 from 39 rocks. #AUSvNZ— Caden Helmers (@cadenhelmers) January 3, 2020
Steve Smith calling for a new pair of gloves after scoring 0 off 24.— Lachlan McKirdy (@LMcKirdy7) January 3, 2020
Clearly not happy with the ones he had, but at least they're fresh if he needs to use them again. #AUSvNZ
Does Steve Smith plan on scoring today? Faced 6 overs for 0 runs?? #Cricket— Scott Harlock (@HarlockPastoral) January 3, 2020
Aussies pour more pain on sick Black Caps
Earlier, Australia compounded New Zealand's misery as they went to lunch at 1-95 against the hapless Black Caps.
With Kane Williamson one of five New Zealanders forced out through injury or illness, the Black Caps endured a difficult opening session in Sydney.
David Warner made 45 after playing nicely through the offside, while Labuschagne also worked the ball neatly off his legs.
Joe Burns fell for 18, edging one from Colin de Grandhomme to first slip as he lost his shape to a ball that straightened.
His wicket was the only positive moment on a tough morning for New Zealand, who are already down 2-0 in the three-Test series.
Tom Latham became New Zealand's 30th Test captain before he lost the toss and was made to field first, while Glenn Phillips is making his debut.
Phillips was rushed from Auckland to Sydney on Thursday afternoon as cover, after playing a domestic Twenty20 match on Wednesday night.
Henry Nicholls is also missing through the same illness, while spinner Mitchell Santner's nightmare tour has also been ended with the flu-like virus.
Tim Southee has also been overlooked on workload concerns, while fellow quick Trent Boult is already back home in New Zealand after breaking his hand in Melbourne.
It meant allrounder de Grandhomme had to open the bowling alongside the returning Matt Henry, while spinners Todd Astle and Will Somerville have also been called in.
Out-of-form batsman Jeet Raval is New Zealand's other addition, brought in to bat at No.3 after averaging 7.3 in his past nine innings.
Australia earlier resisted the urge to blood spinner Mitchell Swepson on a wicket expected to turn.
A win in Sydney will mark their first clean sweep of a home Test summer since 2013-14 and their 10th overall.