There was brief panic during Australia’s net session at the Oval when a net bowler could not get out of the way of a fierce hit from David Warner. The bowler, a medium pacer, was in his followthrough when the shot hit him on the head. He was immediately attended to by medical staff and was conscious, smiling and said his name.
The bowler, of Indian origin, said his name was Jai Kishan, and was taken to hospital as a precaution. He was expected to remain under observation for 24 hours.
The incident left Australia’s players rattled momentarily.
“Yeah, Dave was obviously pretty shaken up,” said Aaron Finch, the captain. “The young guy seems to be in pretty good spirits at the moment. He’s obviously been taken off to hospital and will continue to be assessed just to make sure that everything is okay. But yeah, Dave was pretty shaken up, no doubt. It was a decent hit to the head. Yeah, hopefully everything keeps going well for the youngster and he’s back up and running shortly. Yeah, it was tough to watch.”
The incident raised the question of whether greater safety measures needed to be put in place for net bowlers. “Well, it’s quite rare that somebody gets hit, and it’s obviously very unfortunate. The medical staff that were on hand, obviously our own medical staff, doctor and physio and also the medical staff, paramedics at the ground, did a great job in being there very quickly to assess and make sure that all the right protocols and right processes were put in place,” said Finch. “Yeah, maybe — it is a difficult one because you get some guys that are coming in and who probably aren’t as well-equipped with their game to be able to deal with that. That’s a tough one. I don’t really have a — I haven’t thought about it a hell of a lot to be honest. It’s a tough one to answer.”
When asked if bowlers wearing helmets while bowling in the nets, Finch said that was probably an individual call that each player needed to take.
Australia are particularly sensitive to head injuries after Phil Hughes died after being hit on the head by a bouncer in 2014.