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Harris praises Aussie batting duo

Former Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris has heaped praise on Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith, believing the pair are in for a big summer.

Harris works closely with Labuschagne in state cricket through his coaching role with Queensland, with the ICC’s 2nd ranked Test batter working through some poor early season form with the Bulls before compiling 204 from 350 balls yesterday.

“I know Marnus has been struggling a bit this year with working on his technique and finding what the right movement or balance is, so it’s nice to see him get some results after working so hard,” Harris told Sports Breakfast.

“I think that shows how much he enjoys batting, whether he gets a duck or whether gets 200, he’s still dejected when he gets out.

“I don’t know if we would have batted long enough for 300, but it’s not as though he missed out.”

After being overlooked during the T20 World Cup, Smith talked up technical changes and found rhythm with a hundred in the following one day series against England, and translated that form into the red ball with 200 not out from 311 deliveries.

“If anything, I think he’s a lot more over the ball, his heads probably stiller than what we’ve seen in the last 15 months,”

“He has so many different movements, but at the point of delivery, you’ve still got to be in a position where your weight is going into the ball … he looks in a really strong position at the moment.

“In those one dayers, he put pressure on himself, and everyone’s going to analyse your technique, that’s part of the job, but I just look at the position he was in, the way he was hitting the ball, how late he was hitting the ball wherever he wanted to hit it.”

Harris was also impressed with the West Indies debutant opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul, who went to stumps at 47 not out, with captain Kraigg Brathwaite also getting through on 18 not out.

“Chanderpaul and Brathwaite were outstanding,” he said.

“A lot of teams come over here and just try and get through and not score, they went out with intent.

“Chanderpaul probably showed that a bit more than Brathwaite, but for a guy playing his first Test on a hostile wicket, it’s very hard for touring sides to play in those conditions and he did it beautifully.”

Heading into day three at Optus Stadium, the West Indies are none for 74 in pursuit of Australia's score of 4dec for 598.

IMAGE: Yahoo Sport.

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