Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne were tipped to be the main batsmen for Australia in the ongoing Test series but the Indian bowlers — in particular R. Ashwin — have found a way to keep the two players quiet.
Labuschagne conceded that the wily off-spinner has come prepared and won the initial battles so far after Ashwin dismissed Smith and him twice in the first two matches.
“I have never faced Ashwin before until this series so I don’t have a comparison to other series but you don’t have the stats that Ravi has without being a great bowler and also a great thinker,” Labuschagne said when asked to assess what Ashwin was doing differently in this series that has made him tough to handle.
“He has come in prepared and, they are being crafty with their field and what they are trying to do. We have fallen into their trap a few times,” he added.
The Australian top-order batsman also said that the heavy leg-side field that India employed with the straight lines the bowlers have used meant the scoring rate also suffered, with the hosts just managing at about two runs per over.
“They have certainly come in with a plan with those straight fields and making sure that they are not leaving stumps and having a really heavy leg-side field. It slows your scoring because you know those shots that you do get on your legs go for one, not four. And they are always keeping those catchers in the game. You have to be disciplined as they showed when I did glance on around the corner and got caught with that leg slip,” Labuschagne added.