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Keeper Pant injured by Cummins thunderbolt

Three weeks after inflicting a series-ending blow to the arm of Mohammed Shami, Pat Cummins has struck again.

India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant was hit on the elbow by a Cummins thunderbolt while batting on day three of the third Test.

Pant looked apprehensive during the rest of his innings and, soon after the injury scare, gave David Warner some catching practice at first slip.

The 23-year-old, who put down two catches on day one of the SCG Test, will now be assessed more thoroughly by India’s medicos.

It is possible that specialist keeper Wriddhiman Saha could take the gloves in Australia’s second innings.

The laws of the game were changed in 2017, allowing a substitute fielder to serve as keeper if a team’s stumper is genuinely injured.

Ricky Ponting felt India would have been better served if Pant retired hurt after the blow.

“He hasn’t got complete control of the bat,” Ponting said in commentary on Seven.

Pant was in obvious discomfort while being assessed but opted to bat on after taking a painkilling tablet.

Both umpires walked over to Pant during the delay, which spanned over six minutes, to check whether he would be OK to continue batting.

Tim Paine tapped his wrist at one stage of the interruption, keen for play to resume.

The batsman’s left arm was heavily strapped after the injury scare.

Cummins immediately tested the left-hander out with a bouncer.

It was successfully steered to square leg for a single but Josh Hazlewood quickly benefited from the batsman’s unease.

Cheteshwar Pujara was also struck by a bouncer from Cummins during the same spell, which came after Saturday’s lunch break and with the Test in the balance.

Pujara avoided an injury but, like Pant, was out soon after when he edged a cracking delivery from Cummins.

Paine vowed on match eve there would be no let up in the bouncer barrage that has been one of the talking points this series, noting his side expected to cop plenty of short stuff too.

Tailender Shami broke his arm while batting at Adelaide Oval, where he was struck by a brutal delivery from Cummins.

“It (short-pitched bowling) is a tactic we use pretty consistently, particularly to the lower order,” Paine said in his pre-Test press conference.

“Playing the short ball at that pace is uncomfortable. If you’re someone who is perceived to have a weakness in that area, or even if you’re not, it’s part of the game.

“It’s how teams test your mettle, test what you’re made of.”

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