Ashes 2023: No doubt that there will be more cravings for net sessions from Smith and Labuschagne, says McDonald


London, June 22 (IANS) Australia head coach Andrew McDonald believes Marnus Labuschagne and Steven Smith will undoubtedly have more cravings for net sessions after making no significant contribution in the side’s two-wicket win in the opening Ashes 2023 Test match at Edgbaston.

At Edgbaston, Australia’s thrilling victory didn’t have significant contributions from Smith and Labuschagne, who made 35 runs between themselves.

“It’s very rare that Marn (Labuschagne) and Smudge (Smith) miss out in the same Test match. It’s an appetising thought. They will no doubt be craving for more net sessions from Marn and Smudge.”

They’re disappointed they missed out in this game, but I think any time the Australian cricket team can win without those two performing at a high level is always a positive. We’ve got some areas we can improve, there’s some growth within the team and there’s two obvious ones,” McDonald was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

While Smith was trapped lbw and gave a catch to slips in the match, Labuschagne was out after nicking twice off Stuart Broad.

McDonald expects both Smith and Labuschagne to find the solutions to the things which troubled them at Edgbaston ahead of the second Test at Lord’s starting from June 28.

“I think there’s always a curiosity to get better, so we’re not going to stall that in any way. They’ll come up with different plans, different movements. They’ve seen what England are going to do and how they’re going to attack them, and they’re probably two of the greatest problem-solvers we’ve had over a period of time,” he said.

“So you would expect them to go back to the drawing board. (Batting coach) Michael Di Venuto will be part of that process. They’ll come out pretty clear what they need to do next innings. But there’s no issue there,” he added.

McDonald further expressed surprise over England batters dealing with Scott Boland via their aggressive approach in Edgbaston.

“We’d seen the way they go about it, they are ultra-aggressive. But I think Scott Boland, that match-up probably surprised us how aggressive they were against Scott. So that’s something we can look at and find better ways through,” he concluded.



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