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Langer insists avoiding bouncer battle with England
The Ashes 2019

Langer insists avoiding bouncer battle with England

Justin Langer has stated Australia will not be drawn into a bouncer war with Ashes rivals England despite the concussion injury to Steve Smith, who was ruled out of the third Test at Headingley.

Australia's batting mainstay Smith showed symptoms of delayed onset of concussion after he was struck by a nasty Jofra Archer bouncer on the fourth day of the drawn second Test at Lord's.

The blow to the side of the neck immediately caused him to retire hurt at 80 before walking out to bat following the dismissal of Peter Siddle and managing to add 12 runs to his tally.

However, Smith was forced to withdraw from the final day's play with Marnus Labuchagne stepping in as cricket's first concussion substitute to make a brave fifty that allowed Australia to ward off the threat of defeat.

Archer's express pace also unsettled Labuschagne when the batsman was hit flush on the grille of his helmet.

Archer's dazzling debut has set the tone for the series with the rejuvenated England bowling attack not shy of dishing out a bumper barrage.

Similarly, Australia boast the exuberant trio of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc at their disposal ready to exhibit a fiery display of fast bowling.

But Langer feels his team requires a disciplined approach that exposes the batting deficiencies of England's squad instead of being distracted in the heat of the moment.

"We know what our plans are to beat England," Langer told reporters at Headingley.

"It's not an ego game," he opined.

"We're here to win the Test match, not to see how many bruises we can give. That's not winning Test matches, trust me. You can't get out with a bruise on your arm.

"I'm sure the bouncer will still be part of every bowler's armoury, if it helps us get batsmen out then we'll use it, otherwise we'll keep sticking to the plan."

England will be bereft of the services of James Anderson when they step out onto the field on Thursday, making this the second consecutive match without their all-time leading wicket-taker.

Anderson pulled out of his bowling stride early on the morning of the Ashes series opener after his calf tear flared up once again.

"It's not unlike England losing James Anderson, he's arguably their best bowler," said Langer.

"If you take your best players out it always has an impact so we have got to make sure that all the other guys, our senior players and our younger players, all step up and fill what are almost unfillable shoes as he is almost the best player in the world."

'We'll certainly have a discussion about changing the batting order' - Bayliss

Meanwhile, England's batting woes have come to the fore with World Cup-winner Jason Roy failing to adjust to the requirements of the grueling five-day cricket.

Roy, currently opening alongside Rory Burns, has always batted in the middle order in first-class cricket for Surrey.

England coach Trevor Bayliss has thus suggested altering the batting order in order to utilize the potential of his players.

"We think we've got the best seven batters available to us at the moment in England... whether we can change it round and make that (order) any better, I'm not sure, but we'll certainly have a discussion about it," he said.

"There's one or two batting spots in the wrong positions but we're trying to do the right thing by the team," he added.

Smith's batting heroics at Edgbaston played a pivotal role in registering Australia's thumping 251-run win but his absence could provide an upper hand to the hosts to dominate the proceedings.