Following his second consecutive ODI century on Sunday (November 29), Australia’s batting linchpin Steve Smith has come in for rich praise from all corners.
Smith scored a stroke-filled 104 off just 64 balls in the game which was instrumental in Australia’s 51 run win. The hosts thus took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three match ODI series.
Following the game, Aussie star batsman Marnus Labuschagne showered rich praise on Smith. Labuschagne (70) had stitched a crucial 136-run partnership with Smith , ensuring Australia registered a mammoth total of 389/4.
“That was one of the best innings I’ve seen in one-day cricket, not only from Steve but from anyone. I think the way he batted yesterday was superb. It almost felt like he didn’t give an opportunity, didn’t really take any risk, but he got a hundred off 62 balls. When someone’s doing that, that’s kind of scary,” Labuschagne was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Smith had scored 106 (off 66 balls) in the first game and then a similar 104 (off 64) in the second. The fact that these two innings came at a strike-rate of around 160 is what made them even more special.
About sharing the spoils with Smith in the middle, Labuschagne said: “It was really nice to build that partnership with him, 136. It was just nice to keep ticking it over and we were really busy through that middle part when we came together. Then towards the back end Steve really took the game on and that’s how we got 390. They’re two very big scores in the last two games, thanks obviously to Steve.”
Following the game, Smith had revealed that he had a vertigo problem on the morning of the game and didn’t even know whether he could play or not. However, once on the field, Smith showed no signs of discomfort as he belted the Indian bowlers all across the SCG.
The third game, a dead rubber, will take place at the Manuka Oval on Wednesday (December 2).