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