South Africa v Australia, 2nd Test, Port Elizabeth

Ryan McLaren out of second Test

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 18, 2014

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Ryan McLaren couldn't avoid a Mitchell Johnson bouncer, South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Centurion, 4th day, February 15, 2014
Ryan McLaren couldn't avoid a Mitchell Johnson bouncer © Getty Images
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South Africa allrounder Ryan McLaren has been ruled out of the second Test against Australia because of mild concussion. He had been hit on the head by a bouncer from Mitchell Johnson on the fourth day of the Centurion Test, which South Africa lost by 281 runs.

The selectors have not added a player to the squad as a replacement for McLaren for the match that begins in Port Elizabeth on February 20.

"Ryan was admitted to a Johannesburg clinic on Sunday evening suffering from suspected concussion-related symptoms including worsening headaches and nausea, which started approximately 30 hours after the blow to his head," South Africa's team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee said. "His condition improved overnight and he was re-assessed by a neurologist as well as a leading sports physician with a special interest in concussion, Dr Jon Patricios. But from a medical protocol point of view, any form of concussion is concerning enough to rule him out of the next Test match.

"He will be monitored over the next four to five days and will have further assessment done next week Monday to decide whether or not he can join up with the squad prior to the third Test in Cape Town."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by ChuckerCarn on (February 20, 2014, 5:55 GMT)

Wish Ryan Maclaren all the best. In fact I wish the SA team all the best. They seem to be a team with a bit of ticker, always have been. I'm pretty sure SA won't be trying to get rules changed because of Mitch, pretty sure the batsmen understand what's expected of them. All of the crying going on seems to be from the arm chair critics, probably the same ones that complain about batsmen having no courage, and most of the crying not coming from South Africans. Looking for a good contest tonight from two teams who respect each and play it the way its meant to be played.

Posted by novocas7rian on (February 20, 2014, 3:09 GMT)

@Henrik, you're ignoring a few things. Firstly, the ball that struck McLaren was not aimed at his head, it arrived outside the off stump at chest height and the batsmen ducked into it with his eyes off the ball.

Secondly, if high speed bouncers are so lethal, why didn't Jeff Thompson who was faster than MJ and even more aggressive, kill batsmen who in those days didn't wear helmets? Same for extremely quick Harold Larwood in a test series that infamously targeted the batsman's body?

Its because batsmen train to face short bowling, or at least they used to before protective headgear and T20 made them soft. Your quoted reaction times assume the batsman's standing there relying on reflexes alone, but he isn't. He's had thousands of short balls before, and should be able to anticipate them and easily be out of the way no matter how quick they arrive - if they can't, they don't belong at test level.

The game has always been dangerous. If you don't like it, don't watch.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 1:27 GMT)

Hey right now its the head and later on it might be else where..why not? Big three rules!

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 19, 2014, 22:59 GMT)

This debate about whether Johnson should be bowling these bouncers, is rubbish. Of course he should. This is cricket, & bouncers have been part of the game for years.

As a Saffa I have been eternally disappointed that Morkel, who has as much speed as Johnson, has not worked much harder on delivering very well directed & accurate bouncers. His classical action is a tad easier to read Mitch's slingshot, but no less deadly. SA have not focussed on being outright aggressive & nasty, when they have had the tools to do so. Bounce em out or bowl em out - a wicket is a wicket. Would someone please sneak a few drops of "Mad Max Potion" in Morkel's energy drinks. Steyn has previously said that if he could make Morkel really angry, & Morkel directed that anger into his bowling, that Morkel would be the better bowler.

Folks, this is cricket. It is a very tough game at the top. Johnson has shaken a few people up, but AB had no problems at all. I'm a Saffa, & I blame the batsment, not the bowler.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 19, 2014, 21:48 GMT)

@ ModernUmpiresPlz wrote " I guess if it's an Aus player then it doesn't really matter in your opinion? I don't remember much backlash when he (Langer) got hit about 5 times in an innings. Certainly nothing wrong with a bowler hitting an Aussie."

Don't get carried away. There are trolls here who will post rubbish about Aus and Aussies. Ignore them. It is just not worth getting all worked up because of their trash talk.

It is as problematic when an Aussie gets hit as when any player gets hit. We don't hate Aussies, & we don't want them to get hit. We don't think it is a good thing!

There is, however, usually less concern when an Aussie gets hit in the head, as due to their extremely dense skull-bone structure there is much less chance of any damage occurring. However, we still don't want our Aus friends to get hit in the head. Their heads might get swollen, & there are enough swollen Aus heads out there already!

Hope you have a G'day, mate, & don't let them inside your head ;))

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 19, 2014, 20:31 GMT)

@christoph20 Batsmen will work him out? You mean they haven't already? He bowls 150 kph with a slightly slingy left arm action and sometimes gets in swing to right handers or a touch of away swing to left handers. Not a lot of mystery there... what's there to work out?

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 20:12 GMT)

Guys, please read Clyde's original comment and you'll know what I'm on about. After reading what he said, I'm sure he never saw Ewen Chatfield almost being killed by Peter Lever in 1974/75 and does not realise how dangerous a cricket ball is. Nor does he realise that a Mitch Johnson bouncer reaches the batsman 0.386 seconds after delivery which, after deducting the human reaction time of 0.3 seconds, leaves the batsman 0.086 seconds to react while someone bowling a bouncer at 85 mph leaves the batsman, after deducting the human reaction time, with 0.131 seconds to react. Furthermore, a MJ bouncer carries 25% more energy (Enery = mass x velocity squared). Had Clyde known this and had he known that the helmet is not a 100% guarantee against serious injury, he would never have made the comment he made. That it's currently legal does not alter the fact that deliberately aiming a ball at a batsman's throat or head is still potentially lethal.

Posted by christoph20 on (February 19, 2014, 13:21 GMT)

oh the smugness. Johnson has only been like this, in tests, for a short while. Batsmen will work him out or he will get injured. Left handers are the key. The SA quicks have to be more brutal as they have had it easy for 2 long. Oz batting brittle still and from that it doesnt matter how good MJ is...hold ya catches and attack the stumps.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (February 19, 2014, 12:59 GMT)

He ducked into the ball, in his normal batting stance it would have been chest height.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 9:56 GMT)

Love how some people is saying that Aussie would be nothing without Johnson.

Thats like saying SA would be nothing without Steyn, SL would be nothing without Murali/Sanga, and India would be nothing without Sachin.

Whats with the envy? Give the aussie team some credit.Well batted, and the bowling team hunts as a pack.

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