Former England captain Micheal Vaughan slammed star batters Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne for throwing away their wickets in the final session of Day 2. However, after taking a first-innings lead of 26, Australia were at 68-1 in their second essay. However, soon after Labuschagne played a reckless slog sweep and got out for 33. Smith, who was expected to play another stunning knock, played a similar shot by flicking a full delivery straight into the hands of the mid-wicket fielder after a few overs as well.
Speaking to Cricbuzz at the close of play on Day 2, Vaughan said, “Australia will look at two areas. Their two key players, Smith and Labuschagne gifting their wickets to Moen Ali. There is nothing there for the spinners, he did a great job just holding an end up which is his job to do. But to think that Smith and Labuschagne got out to Moen Ali on that pitch, I’ve never ever seen them give it away like that. Particularly Steve Smith, I’ve never seen him look so itchy when he went to the crease.”
However, the hosts also removed Usman Khawaja a few overs later as well. Despite being the Player of the Match in the previous Test, Smith failed to leave a mark in both innings of his 100th Test where he smashed only 24 runs. Meanwhile, Michael Vaughan praised Moeen Ali, saying that his spell saw Australian batters throwing their wickets against him.
“Australians allowed Moen to bowl too many good overs early, I thought as soon as he came on to bowl they’ll try to hit him. But they allowed him to bowl and all of the sudden Marnus thought he had had to go up in the gears and he got that one fortune by Jonny Bairstow,” said Vaughan. “I thought he’ll get a big score and be there not out at stumps and get a century,” concluded Michael Vaughan. “To see him get out so softly and then to see Smith follow just a couple of overs later that was a big momentum shift in the Test match.”