Pressure is mounting on Marnus Labuschagne. Picture: Getty Images
Pressure is mounting on Marnus Labuschagne. Picture: Getty Images

Pressure on Labuschagne goes up a notch

The pressure on Marnus Labuschagne to deliver with the bat has already gone up a notch after the all-rounder made an uninspiring start with the ball.

He only bowled four overs on the opening day but gave up 25 runs without taking a wicket and was smacked around the SCG by Cheteshwar Pujara.

The Indian brought up his half-century when he dispatched a sloppy half-tracker from Labuschagne to the rope, then followed up with two more quick boundaries to force Labuschagne out of the attack after just one over.

"There was a little bit of pressure. First ball came out all right and I think I bowled a few drag downs," Labuschagne said.

"But I was positive and I came back the last three overs and was able to tie up a bit of pressure."

Labuschagne did give up another boundary to Pujara in his second spell but bowled much tighter and said he learnt a few things from studying the India star that he thinks will help when he pads up at No. 3 for Australia.

"He was very classy wasn't he? His time, his patience around the crease and just the way he batted. I think it was something I personally can take a lot from," Labuschagne said.

"He just batted a lot of time and that's something he's done through this whole series. That's what we're going to need to do. All our batters are going to need to step up and put a big score on the board."

Pujara's glutton for runs has also overshadowed the contribution of India's new opener Mayank Agarwal, who has proven to be just as big a thorn in the side of the Aussies.

Cheteshwar Pujara continued his superb form for India. Picture: AAP
Cheteshwar Pujara continued his superb form for India. Picture: AAP

Called in for his debut for the Boxing Day Test after Lokesh Rahul and Murali Vijay failed in the first two matches of the series, Agarwal has provided with the tourists with the stability they needed at the top of the innings to really grind the ­Aussie bowlers into the dust.

He made 76 and 42 on debut in Melbourne and followed that up with a polished 77 on Thursday, only losing his wicket when he had a rush of blood to the head and holed out in the deep with a century beckoning.

 

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