‘Frustrating’: Golden boy’s blunt admission

Marnus Labuschagne has lamented a trio of “frustrating dismissals” following Australia’s underwhelming batting performance at the MCG on Boxing Day.

India rolled the hosts for 195 on day one, and no Australian was able to muster a half-century in Melbourne.

Opening batsman Matthew Wade accelerated to 30 before attempting an unnecessary slash off Ravi Ashwin’s bowling in the 13th over.

Steve Smith was once again thwarted by Ashwin, nudging the ball towards the leg slip fielder for his first duck in Test cricket since November 2016.

Then after combining with Labuschagne for a critical 86-run partnership, Travis Head fended at a Jasprit Bumrah delivery he should have left alone, and was caught at gully for 38.

Reflecting on an eventful day’s play, Labuschagne conceded more responsibility needs to be placed on batsmen who get a start at the crease.

“We had three innocuous dismissals, that we probably didn’t need,” Labuschagne told reporters on Saturday evening. “Just three frustrating dismissals, and I think all three of those guys were set and were in.

“It’s a big job from our batting group, whoever that is on the day – whether that’s myself or anyone else in the top order – that we make sure we get the big scores.”

India’s Mohammed Siraj celebrates dismissing Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne.Source:AFP

Once the red ball stopped swinging and the MCG deck settled, India trailed a series of unorthodox tactics to snare breakthroughs in the afternoon session.

The unusual field placements paid dividends, with three Australian batsmen caught behind square on the leg-side, including Labuschagne.

“Something that we’re realising very quickly is people are coming up with new ways (to take wickets), thinking about the game slightly differently,” Labuschagne said.

“Obviously today, they came out with a heavy leg-side field and bowled very straight and didn’t give use any scoring option s on the off-side.

“For all our batters, you’ve just got to keep rolling with the punches, learning the game, understanding what they’re doing. That’s the key.

“As long as we do that as a batting group and learn from that, we’re just going to keep getting better and learning.”

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