Steve Smith has been enjoying an outstanding cricketing summer at home against India. The former Australian skipper scored back-to-back centuries in the first two ODIs against Virat Kohli’s team and currently is the top-scorer of the tournament with 209 runs in 2 innings.
In the second ODI on Sunday 29th November, Steve Smith smashed 104 off 64 balls and was adjudged inarguably as the Player of the Match after Australia outplayed India by 51 runs. It was the second time in three days that he had brought up a remarkable ton and won MOM award as a result.
Steve Smith Batted Superbly Without Giving Any Opportunity: Marnus Labuschagne
Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne was in awe of Steve Smith’s batting and heaped praises on the latter’s match-winning knock. Marnus Labuschagne was surprised that he completed his century in 62 balls despite not taking any risk in the second ODI.
“That was one of the best innings I’ve seen in one-day cricket, not only from Steve but from anyone. I think the way he batted yesterday was superb. It almost felt like he didn’t give an opportunity, didn’t really take any risk, but he got a hundred off 62 balls. When someone’s doing that, that’s kind of scary,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Labuschagne as saying.
Marnus Labuschagne failed in the first ODI but scored 70 off 61 balls in the second ODI. But it was David Warner and Aaron Finch, another centurion and top scorer in first ODI, who stitched together another 100 run partnership for the first wicket to build a solid foundation.
Steve Smith Took The Game On Towards The Back End: Marnus Labuschagne
The duo of Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith had stitched a 136-run partnership for the third wicket after Aaron Finch and David Warner’s dismissal which helped Australia piling up a mammoth total of 389-runs.
“It was really nice to build that partnership with him, 136. It was just nice to keep ticking it over and we were really busy through that middle part when we came together. Then towards the back end Steve really took the game on and that’s how we got 390. They’re two very big scores in the last two games, thanks obviously to Steve,” Labuschagne said.
Meanwhile, David Warner has been ruled out of the limited-overs fixtures against India due to a groin strain and will miss the remaining white-ball matches including the remaining ODI and 3 T20Is.
D’Arcy Short, who last played a T20I in February 2019, has replaced injured David Warner in the T20I squad. The Big Bash League’s leading run-scorer in 2017-18 and 2018-19, D’ Arcy Short has been brought into the squad as a like for like replacement – left-hand power opener for dashing David Warner.
Also, pace spearhead Pat Cummins will miss the remaining of the limited-overs fixtures against India to have some rest until the opening test match at Adelaide Oval from December 17.
Australia gained a 2-0 unassailable lead in the three-match ODI series on Sunday and will next meet India in the dead rubber on Wednesday, 2nd December.