Fast bowler Pat Cummins has backed Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne to come out of their poor run of form in upcoming matches. The Australian pacer said the duo has been amongst the runs in recent months, as he further claimed that no one is stressing about their form in the Australian camp.
Notably, Australian batsmen have struggled massively during the first 2 Tests against India. The Boxing Day Test saw none of the Australian batsmen scored a 50 for the 1st time in 32 years. With Smith and Labuschagne the side's two senior batsmen, the spotlight has been on them owing to their struggles.
Speaking to the media in a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Pat Cummins offered a message of support to the two Australian batsmen.
“ They ( Smith and Labuschagne) don’t need to look too far backward. Marnus churned them out and dominated the last summer and Steve, it was just a month ago that he scored two back-to-back hundreds in the one-dayers off 70 balls or so, so yeah! No stress, I’m sure they’ll find a way”
Both Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne have struggled in the first two Tests against India, albeit in different ways. Steve Smith has failed to get going, registering a top score of 8 in 4 innings. The right-hander famously got out for a duck in the 1st innings of the Boxing Day Test, which was his first Test duck against India. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been Smith’s nemesis, dismissing him twice already this series.
On the contrary, Marnus Labuschagne has thrown away his good starts against India. The Australian No.3 has scored more than 25 in 3 of the 4 innings he has played. Despite that, he is yet to register a half-century in the series.
Pat Cummins makes bold AB de Villiers claim
During the virtual press conference, Pat Cummins also opened up about the toughest batsman he has bowled to in Test cricket. He explained that AB de Villiers’ ability to switch gears and score at a brisk pace even in Test cricket is what made him the toughest batsmen to bowl to.
“ I think I have to say, AB de Villiers is the toughest batter I have bowled to. Especially if I think of the 2018 Test series. He is just a class above like at any time he could switch in the T20 mode and could probably make 100 in five overs. So I’ll name him”
While Pat Cummins has impressed with the ball in hand, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne have flattered to deceive against India. The lack of runs from Smith and Labuschagne has put greater pressure on the lower order as well, which doesn’t bode well for Australian cricket. Pat Cummins and others will be hoping that the duo can come out of their poor form and rise to the occasion against India, particularly with the series now level 1-1.Published 30 Dec 2020, 12:34 IST