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MELBOURNE: With Cameron Green eager to break back into Australia’s starting XI, Marnus Labuschagne felt a rush of relief when he was cleared to play in the ‘Boxing Day’ Test against Pakistan after taking a nasty blow to his pinky finger in the hosts’ series-opening win.

Labuschagne needed medical attention after being struck on the right hand by debutant Khurram Shahzad early in the second innings in Perth before top-edging the Pakistan quick to be out for two.

All-rounder Green, who lost his place in the squad to Mitchell Marsh, texted best wishes before Labuschagne went in for a scan. Labuschagne joked that he told Green not to get his hopes up.

“He just said, ‘I hope it all goes well, good luck,’” Labuschagne told reporters. “I just said, ‘It’s not going to make a difference, mate’. “It’s going to have take something pretty serious to have me miss a game.”

Labuschagne was one of several batters sporting bruises in the wake of Australia’s 360-run win on day four after the Perth Stadium pitch deteriorated rapidly.

Marsh, Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja all suffered body blows, while Pakistan were skittled for 89 in their second innings. Pundits questioned whether the cracked wicket was too lively for a fair contest but Labuschagne stopped short of calling it unsafe.

“No one likes batting when it’s like that, up-and-down. The sharp, steep bounce on a fast wicket. It’s not a cup of tea for anyone,” he said.

Lyon celebrates 500 wickets as Australia thrash Pakistan by 360 runs

“But you just have to find a way when it’s like that.”

All Australia’s players have been cleared for the Dec. 26 Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The hosts are unlikely to make changes given the light workloads of captain Pat Cummins and fellow quicks Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood with the trio having seven victims between them on day four.

Spinner Nathan Lyon was also able to sneak in a couple of wickets, including his 500th Test victim when he trapped Faheem Ashraf lbw.

Lyon was hailed by Australian media on Monday for becoming the nation’s third bowler to reach the milestone, joining legspinner Shane Warne and fast bowler Glenn McGrath.

However, the 500th came only after plenty of debate in the middle with Cummins getting the referral in to the DRS right before the timer ran out.

A sheepish Labuschagne, who has long fielded at short leg when Lyon bowls, said he had spoken against taking a review.

“I think I actually said it was high,” he said. “So I got that wrong.”

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