Australian head coach Andrew McDonald is not worried about star batter Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne's twin failures in the Edgbaston Test against England in Ashes 2023.
Smith (16 & 6) and Labuschagne (0 & 13) were kept at bay by the England bowlers through some efficient planning and execution. However, that wasn't enough for them to win the game as Australia sneaked home in a thrilling fashion by two wickets.
Andrew McDonald claimed that the Aussies winning without massive contributions from Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne is infact a positive for them. Here's what he was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au:
"There will be no doubt a craving for more net sessions from 'Marn' and 'Smudge'. They're disappointed they missed out in this game, but I think any time the Australian cricket team can win without those two performing at a high level is always a positive. We've got some areas we can improve, there's some growth within the team and there's two obvious ones. It's very rare that Marn and Smudge miss out in the same Test match. It's an appetising thought."
Andrew McDonald backs Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne to come back stronger
McDonald feels that now Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne will have a good idea about what England are planning against them and feels they can adapt quickly to whatever the hosts throw at them.
On this, the coach stated:
"They'll come up with different plans, different movements. They've seen what England are going to do and how they're going to attack them, and they're probably two of the greatest problem-solvers we've had over a period of time so you would expect them to go back to the drawing board.And (batting coach) M ichael di Venuto will be part of that process, and they'll come out pretty clear what they need to do next innings. But there's no issue there."
Given the champion mentality that both the star batters have, it won't be a surprise if at least one of them turns up in the next Test at Lord's and scored a big hundred.