On the second day of the Sydney Test, Marnus Labuschagne tried to get under Indian opener Shubman Gill’s skin. It’s well known that Labuschagne simply follows Steve Smith. He tries to replicate Smith's batting as well as his unorthodox mannerisms. What's more, they both bowl leg-spin and are brilliant fielders.
On Friday, Marnus Labuschagne asked Shubman Gill who his favourite player was when the latter was trying to focus at the crease against Mitchell Starc.
Gill was on strike, facing Starc when Labuschagne, fielding at short-leg, attempted to distract him by asking who his favourite player was.
“Favourite player? Who’s your favourite player?” Marnus Labuschagne asked.
“I will tell you after the match,” Shubman Gill replied.
The answer didn’t really quench Marnus Labuschagne’s curiosity as he continued to chirp, sporting a smile:
“After the match? Sachin (Tendulkar)? Or maybe Virat (Kohli)?”, asked Labuschagne.
The chatters didn’t really have an effect on the 21-year-old Indian batsman, who continued to attack the Australian bowlers with an attractive array of strokes.
Marnus Labuschagne takes a leaf out of Tim Paine and Matthew Wade's book
One can expect a lot of chatter while playing against Australia. Call it sledging or ‘mental disintegration’, Australians master the art better than most. During the 2018-19 series, Tim Paine and Rishabh Pant made news with the ‘babysitter’ and ‘temporary captain’ sledges ruling the roost.
During the Melbourne Test last month, Matthew Wade was seen having some banter with Pant, poking fun at the Indian wicket-keeper’s weight.
Earlier in the day, Australia posted 338 after a fine hundred from Steve Smith. He shared a 100-run stand with Marnus Labuschagne, who scored 91. In reply, at the time of writing, India were comfortably poised at 85 for one halfway into the third session, with Shubman Gill scoring his maiden Test fifty.Published 08 Jan 2021, 12:16 IST