Australia batsman Marcus Labuschagne heaped praise on teammate Steven Smith, saying the batsman is very proactive which makes the task of the bowlers very hard. His remarks came after the close of play on day one of the fourth Test in the ongoing Ashes.
"It was good to spend some time with him and a good experience to see how he goes about it and also learn from him out there. What makes him the best in the world is that he is always one step ahead and thinking ahead and not being reactive. He is being proactive, which makes him very hard to bowl to," International Cricket Council (ICC) quoted Labuschagne as saying.
Rain played spoilsport on day one of the Test and only 44 overs were bowled after which Aussies reached the score of 170/3. Australia had got off to a bad start as the side lost its openers David Warner and Marcus North early, restricting the team to 28/2.
It was then that Labuschagne and Smith got together at the crease and were able to put up a partnership of 116 runs, which saw both batsmen bringing up their respective half-centuries. This was the first time that both batsmen batted together as earlier in the series, Labuschagne had come in as concussion substitute after Smith was hit by a bouncer bowled by Jofra Archer in the second Test.
Labuschagne was eventually sent back to the pavilion by Craig Overton, but Smith is still unbeaten at 60 and he will resume the day as the overnight batsman. It was a windy day in Manchester and as a result, the batsmen had to face difficulty while facing the pace bowlers.
The wind forced the bails to come off frequently and as a result, the umpires decided to play for a while without the bails.
"Today the conditions, the wind, it was tough to get used to it and get consistent with your movements because it was so windy and there were so many distractions around the ground," Labuschagne said.
"When the umpires put the bails on you could just see the stumps shake and it was just a matter of time before they came off. It was very windy out there. I have never played a game where you`ve played with no bails, so that was very different. All in all, it was pretty tough conditions for bowling out there," he said.
Currently, the Ashes is levelled at 1-1.