Australian skipper Tim Paine has revealed he had killed time by rolling his arm over at the nets but was unhappy he couldn't dismiss Marnus Labuschagne while doing so.
The Australian team were having their regular net session before the Sydney Test against India starting on January 7.
"The only reason I bowled yesterday was that I was really bored. At the moment with the COVID rules you kind of have to come and go as a team on one bus, whereas normally have individual vans and cars around and once you’re done you can get your recovery done and leave," said Paine
"At the moment we all have to sit around while Smithy and Marnus keep batting. So rather than sitting in the rooms I rolled out a few offies, but unfortunately couldn’t get any wickets," added Paine
The Tasmanian joked Marnus Labuschagne got more circumspect while facing up to him, thereby making the former upset he couldn't dismiss the Aussie No.3.
"I was hoping to build their confidence up, but I think Marnus got a bit nervous facing me. He just defended everything which actually slightly annoyed me because I couldn’t get him out," stated Tim Paine
Tim Paine compares Marnus Labuschagne to his two-year-old kid
Tim Paine revealed the Aussie players keep pulling Labuschagne's leg for his tendency to imitate Steve Smith on all counts.
"The boys don’t mind it with Smithy because he’s done it the whole time. We give Marnus a bit of a ribbing because we reckon he’s only hitting balls because Smithy is hitting balls and he tries to copy him, being his idol," said Paine
Paine joked Labuschagne almost has the childish attitude to keep following what Smith does, even if he is himself exhausted.
"To the point yesterday where it was actually quite funny. Marnus was so tired, but because Smithy was still batting it was like he couldn’t stop. It’s like my kids, the two-year-old wants to stay up longer. He was absolutely cooked, but still batting which was excellent," added Tim Paine
Tim Paine signed off by observing that Steve Smith, on the contrary, never seems to get exhausted even after long hours at the net.
"For some reason Smithy doesn’t get tired. He has this amazing energy, particularly when he’s batting. He was four hours in yesterday and he looked like he’d been there for about 30 seconds, it’s amazing," concluded Paine
Marnus Labuschagne had represented Australia in 5 Test matches before the Ashes tour of 2019 and had not set the world on fire. But he has been a prolific run-scorer for Australia since coming on as a concussion substitute for Steve Smith in the Lord's Test of that tour to England.
Although both Labuschagne and Smith have not been at their best in the two Test matches against India thus far, the visitors will be wary of them as the duo can turn things around at any moment.