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Labuschagne says Australia 'need to be very disciplined' to put pressure back on India

Aus v Ind, news

Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne has said that the hosts are looking for ways to put pressure back on India's bowlers after the tourists levelled the series 1-1 with a dominant eight-wicket victory in Melbourne.

Under stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, India bounced back from being bowled out for 36 in the first Test to claim a comfortable victory in the second. Their bowlers were integral to that performance, rolling Australia for 195 and 200 at the MCG.

Labuschagne, who has been Australia's most prolific batsman in the series so far with 129 runs from his four innings, felt the hosts' struggles with the bat could largely be attributed to the plans of the Indian attack.

"They've come in with a plan and made sure they're really not leaving the stumps and having a really heavy leg-side field," the 26-year-old said. "It obviously slows your scoring rate down because those shots you do get on your legs go for one, not four. We need to be very disciplined and we also need to come up with ways to put them under pressure."

According to Labuschagne, the Australians have been discussing how to free themselves against the disciplined bowling, though he stressed that this is routine for a Test series.

"There's definitely talk about rotating the strike and finding your boundary option," he said. "They're the normal things you talk about facing any bowling attack, and where you can get a little upper hand against a certain bowler at a certain time in the game.

"They're the things we're always talking about and trying to stay on top of, and making sure that when we come in, we are brave enough to take on those options when they arise. It doesn't have to be pretty, we've got to keep grinding and finding a way."

The Queensland batsman was particularly focussed on spinner R Ashwin, who is joint-leading wicket-taker in the series having claimed 10 at an average of 17.7.

"I've never faced Ashwin before until this series. You don't have the stats that Ravi has without being a great bowler and also a great thinker," he said. "He's obviously come in really prepared and they're being really crafty with their field and what they're trying to do. We have fallen into their trap a few times."

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