Smith has high praise for Labuschagne

Australia lost the match regardless

Steve Smith Australia

Former Australian captain Steven Smith appreciated a relatively successful start to fellow batsman Marnus Labuschagne's ODI career this week.

Labuschagne, who has relished a superb stretch of form in Test cricket, has broken into Australia‘s ODI squad – and struck 46 against India in Rajkot on Friday.

Australia lost that second ODI. The series is squared one-all. The series decider will be played in Bengaluru on Sunday.

The talented right-hander's workmanlike 46 spanned 47 deliveries – and was lined with for fours. He was particularly impressive against wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.

What Smith said

“I thought Marnus played really well in his first bat in one-day international cricket. He was really busy, we were going at a reasonable rate, we were going at around six an over there for a while, we were just busy and playing good cricket shots. The way Marnus played in his first game, to have the courage to hit one over mid-off off Kuldeep really early on, that just shows he's got something about him,” said Smith, who top-scored with 98.

“We know he's in terrific form, he's been batting beautifully, but transferring that into one-day cricket now is another thing. I thought he looked exceptionally good. He hit the gaps hard, ran hard between the wickets and played some nice shots. The one over cover off Ravindra Jadeja was a beautiful shot and he looked right at home.”

The tourists fell 36 runs short of a 341-run target. Smith departed two runs short of a century, while several other to- and middle-order batsmen failed to convert promising starts.

“It was nice to score a few runs. I would've liked to have batted a bit longer and been there in the happy hour, but unfortunately tried to cut one that stopped in the wicket a little bit and dragged it on. It was unfortunate at the time, it was a pretty bad time. Unfortunate, but these things happen sometimes, learn from it, move on,” added Smith.

“If we had an in batter and someone that had been out there for a while, perhaps things may have been different but that was probably where we lost it. I thought we timed the run reasonably well but I thought just losing those three wickets in that 30 to 40 overs put a big dent in the run chase.”

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Jonhenry is a cricket nut. He has written about the game for several years and knows more about South African cricket - club cricket, in particular - than most. He has been published on most reputable cricket sites and, nowadays, devotes his knowledge of the global game to the iGaming industry. When he is not producing content about cricket, Jonhenry is playing, watching or coaching it. If not that, he's reading about the game or administrating his local cricket club.