The third Test of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 began with a unique conversation between Indian captain Rohit Sharma and Australian cricketer Marnus Labuschagne, who is currently ranked as the world’s best Test batter.
Australia rebounded with a roar as they easily won the third Test by nine wickets to record their first victory of the four-match series after losing the first two Tests by significant margins. They totally outperformed India with both the bat and the ball to cut the deficit to 1-2.
After a stunning triumph, Labuschagne talked about a conversation he had with Rohit Sharma before the third Test started. When he indicated a desire to learn from Sharma how to play in Indian conditions—which were unfamiliar to Labuschagne and his teammates—he happened to be strolling alongside the Indian captain.
“I said to Rohit out there when we were walking. I said ‘I am watching whatever you do, I want to learn. You guys are the best in these conditions. We are foreign to these conditions. You learn from the opposition, you learn from the way they do it. We try and learn and grow with each game,” the 28-year-old said while speaking to the broadcasters on Star Sports.
The right-handed batter claimed that he approached Rohit Sharma and directly questioned him about all the finer points and unique tactics the Indian squad used to make them virtually invincible against rank-turners. He believed that since these circumstances were so foreign to them, it was crucial to have an open dialogue with those who were flourishing in them. Learning from the opponent was beneficial because it is always the best method to improve one’s performance.
The Australian team used the lengthy pause following their first two defeats to reflect carefully and correct their faults, he continued to say. That greatly aided them in relaxing and playing the third Test with a lot of confidence, which helped them win it. “We got to continue to learn and make sure the first Test, and the second Test is all not the same. We need to keep learning. Everyone just revisited their options, everyone just revisited their plans and their techniques,” Labuschagne revealed while talking about the changes they made coming into the third Test.
He further stated that the players sought to build their confidence in their defence, which they were unwilling to abandon. He added that he had to approach the series differently because he had been missing such open shots. “For me, personally, I have batted in 4 or 5 different ways. I have walked in, and I have swept. But I think as the series went on, I didn’t get those free shots as I did at the start of the series. We just said we have to trust our defence more. We are all going to get outstanding, Steve got a really good ball, one that just spun and got the edge. But we needed to keep trusting our defence. Once we settle down, the game will open up,” he added.