"It almost never feels like he's out of form" - Marnus Labuschagne expects big runs off Steve Smith's bat following his 28th Test ton

Steve Smith remained unbeaten at 109 off 212 balls. (Credits: Getty)
Steve Smith remained unbeaten at 109 off 212 balls. (Credits: Getty)

Australian batter Marnus Labuschagne has said that Steve Smith's latest Test hundred could lead to a surge of runs for the latter in the near future. The right-handed batter stated that Smith is hardly ever out of form and that the standards he sets for himself bog him down.

Smith stood tall on the opening day of the second Test against Sri Lanka at Galle, breaking his century drought to take Australia to a formidable position. The 33-year old scored his 28th Test hundred, reaching three figures with a glorious boundary off Kasun Rajitha. He stitched a 134-run stand with Labuschagne, who also made 104.

After the day's play, Labuschagne revealed that Smith had his head in the game from the outset and that a player of his caliber is hardly ever out of form. He said that the former captain's high expectations often go against him, but expects this hundred to break the shackles.

"The boys said this morning when he rocked up to the ground, he was in the Smudge headspace and he looked locked in. With someone of his calibre, it almost never feels like he's out of form. It's just for him the standard he's set is so high that when it drops a little bit, his expectations are still at that really high level," he said, as quoted by Perth Now.
"He's a very harsh critic on himself, having set a standard for Australia for the last eight or nine years. He's always still hitting the ball well. Getting that one today, I think is really going to open up the floodgates and we could have a really big next 10 Tests or so in the next year."

The Australian Test vice-captain last scored a Test hundred at Galle back in January 2021. Since then, hestruggled to convert his fifties into a big one.

"It's nice to get that one off the back" - Marnus Labuschagne on his seventh Test hundred

Marnus Labuschagne added 134 runs with Steve Smith. (Credits: Getty)
Marnus Labuschagne added 134 runs with Steve Smith. (Credits: Getty)

Labuschagne, who scored his first overseas Test century on Friday, expressed his relief at getting the monkey off his back after proving his expertise against spin. Labuschagne added:

"It's nice to get that one off the back, the first one away from home and to contribute. It's not something you sit there and think about all the time. But it's definitely something reporters bring up and the media beat everything up a bit. It's nice to score runs in different conditions and show people that you can play in not just bouncy, seaming or swinging conditions, but against spin as well."

The tourists reached 298-5 at stumps on day one and will look to build a total in excess of 400. Australia won the first Test by ten wickets.

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Edited by S Chowdhury