Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli delivered sensational performances as they led India to a seven-wicket triumph over Australia, meaning the hosts clinched the three-match ODI series 2-1 despite Steve Smith's century in Bengaluru.

Smith's 131 and 54 from Marnus Labuschagne provided the highlights of Australia's innings after Aaron Finch elected to bat first, but India restricted their opponents to 286-9.

India were hampered by the loss of Shikhar Dhawan for their reply, the opener's shoulder injury casting his participation in the upcoming tour of New Zealand into doubt.

However, once Smith's resistance ended amid a flurry of late wickets, Rohit (119) and Kohli (89) guided their side to an emphatic win, completed with 15 balls to spare.

Dhawan had to leave the field early in Australia's innings and he was duly sent for an x-ray on his left shoulder, which he hurt while diving in the field.

By that stage India already had their tails up, with Mohammed Shami (4-63) having drawn David Warner (3) into a reckless shot outside off that yielded an edge behind to KL Rahul.

India had their second wicket soon after – a mix-up between Smith and Finch resulting in the latter being run out for 19.

Smith, with support from Labuschagne, made up for his mistake, the duo both working their way to half-centuries and propelling Australia to 173-2 midway through the 32nd over.

Ravindra Jadeja claimed the breakthrough wicket, though, with Kohli taking an excellent catch low to his right to dismiss Labuschagne, and the promoted Mitchell Starc fell to the same bowler three balls later.

From looking well poised, Australia were now on the back foot and, though Alex Carey (35) offered a decent cameo, the emphasis was all on Smith.

The 30-year-old – who had surpassed 4,000 ODI runs in the 34th over – brought up his ninth one-day hundred with a crisp single, and then let rip, hitting four boundaries before succumbing to Shami.

However, Australia were unable to get up to 300 as Shami also removed Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa at the death.

Despite being shorn of the injured Dhawan, India swiftly got into their stride in reply, Rohit looking in superb touch either side of the loss of Rahul (19) to Ashton Agar in the 13th over.

Rohit, who made 209 from 158 balls against Australia in Bengaluru seven years ago, set about targeting Ashton Agar and Labuschagne – who he hit for a huge six – as captain Kohli also clicked into gear.

A single to third man off Josh Hazlewood took Rohit to another glorious hundred, his eighth against Australia, and his sixth maximum brought up the century partnership before he finally fell to Zampa.

At that point, India needed just 81 from 13.2 overs and Shreyas Iyer (44 not out) quickly settled in alongside Kohli to make victory certain, despite the captain falling to Hazlewood with 13 still required.

Nyeem Young starred with the bat as West Indies sealed a maiden win over Australia at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup at the eighth attempt.

Jayden Seales did the damage with the ball to hustle Australia out for 179 and Young’s measured innings in reply saw West Indies to victory with 24 balls to spare of their Group B opener.

Young was the matchwinner for the Windies with a priceless 61 from 69 balls just as Australia were bearing down on his side’s tail.

"It's good to get a win," Young said. “It doesn’t matter the opponent, but it is good to get it against Australia. I am happy to get it across the line, and I think it shows how we fight with the ball and the bat.”

Australia batted first and were bowled out for just 179. Jake Fraser-McGurk fought a lone battle, with a defiant 84 from 97 balls at the top of the order.

Wickets tumbled around him though as Seales (four for 49) and Matthew Forde (three for 24) ran riot. Patrick Rowe struck 40 to give the young Aussies a sniff, but 179 was well below par.

Windies slipped to 92 for five in the chase, thanks chiefly to a fine spell of leg-spin bowling by Tanveer Sangha whose promise has already seen him feature in the Big Bash League.

His four for 30 ran the Windies desperately close, and they breathed a sigh of relief when his allocation came to an end.

Beyond the mystery of Sangha, West Indies found comfort through Young's mature knock and got home with three overs and as many wickets to spare.

India avenged their Mumbai mauling with a 36-run defeat of Australia in the second ODI in Rajkot to level the series.

The tourists had embarrassed India in the first match, cruising to a 10-wicket win with unbeaten centuries from David Warner and Aaron Finch.

India posted a more challenging total of 340-6 on Friday, featuring 96 from Shikhar Dhawan, 80 from KL Rahul and Virat Kohli's 78, to give Australia a tricky chase and they fell short on 304 all out to set up a series decider in Bengaluru on Sunday.

At 220-3 with more than 12 overs remaining, Australia were firmly in the hunt, but India's bowlers got on top and the tourists did not recover from losing Steve Smith, whose 98 was the fulcrum of their innings.

Smith played on to give Kuldeep Yadav his second victim in the 38th over after dismissing Alex Carey to bring up 100 ODI career wickets.

Warner had earlier been dismissed for just 15, flicking at a length ball from Mohammed Shami (3-77) outside off stump and caught spectacularly above his head by Manish Pandey at cover.

Finch fell for 33 and Marnus Labuschagne made 46 in his first ODI knock, but Australia's hopes of a late flurry were savaged by Shami yorking Ashton Turner and Pat Cummins with the first two deliveries of the 44th over before Navdeep Saini and Jasprit Bumrah mopped up the tail.

Dhawan and Rohit Sharma had earlier put on a run-a-ball 81 for India's first wicket, before the latter fell for 42, pegged lbw by leg-spinner Adam Zampa.

Dhawan and Kohli kept the runs flowing, with their stand of 103 eventually broken when Dhawan, four short of an 18th ODI century and looking to reach three figures with one blow, was caught at fine leg by Mitchell Starc off Kane Richardson.

India had collapsed from 134 for one to 255 all out in Mumbai, but this time it would be a different story.

The classy Kohli scored at just over a run a ball before becoming the second of three victims for Zampa (3-50), before Rahul injected late pace into the scoring by plundering his 80 from 52 balls, clearing the ropes three times before being run out in the final over.

A blow for India on an otherwise positive day came with Dhawan taking a blow to the ribs when batting that prevented him from fielding.

Virat Kohli has promised to "rethink" his tactics after struggling again at number four in the batting order as part of a chastening ODI defeat at the hands of Australia.

Aaron Finch and David Warner dominated proceedings as Australia cruised to a 10-wicket victory with 12.2 overs to spare in response to India's disappointing 255 all out at Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.

A miserable start to the three-match series saw India captain Kohli caught and bowled by Adam Zampa for 16 just after he had hit the spinner for six.

Kohli is the world's number one batsman in the 50-over format but 16 is in fact his highest score from fourth in the order as part of a dreadful seven-innings streak that dates back to January 2015.

"We've had this discussion many times in the past," Kohli, who dropped down the order after Rohit Sharma's return, said to Star Sports.

"Because of the way KL Rahul has been batting, we have tried to fit him in the batting line-up.

"Having said that, I don't think it's quite gone our way whenever I've batted number four, so we'll probably have to rethink about that one.

"All in all, it's about giving some guys opportunities and you'll never know if this works or not if you don't try. 

"It's very easy to just go with one template and just follow it non-stop. I think people need to relax and not panic with one game, I'm allowed to experiment a little bit and fail as well at times. 

"You lose games here and there, but this was one of the days where it didn't come off."

Rahul (47) put on 121 for the second wicket along with Shikhar Dhawan (74), but his dismissal proved the turning point for Australia's bowlers, as India quickly fell to 164-5.

Set 256 to win, Warner (128 not out off 112 balls) and Finch (110no from 114) enjoyed a day to remember with the highest opening stand in an ODI against India, leaving the hosts with plenty to think about before the second game in Rajkot on Friday.

"It's just one bad day at office," added Dhawan. "We played well against West Indies before. As a team we back each other, and we don't focus too much on a loss.

"They played really well. We were a bit unlucky as well, like a few top edges went here and there, they didn't go in the hand.

"When KL got out, at that time we planned to accelerate and those four wickets we lost, that's where we lost the momentum.

"From there, we were targeting 300 runs and because of loss of wickets we ended up scoring less runs on that sort of a wicket. In bowling, we could not take wickets and they outplayed us. It is the captain's choice [where he bats]."

Aaron Finch and David Warner pummelled India with imperious unbeaten centuries to seal a crushing 10-wicket victory for Australia in the first match of the ODI series at Wankhede Stadium.

India collapsed from 134-1 to 255 all out in Mumbai on Tuesday after Shikhar Dhawan (74) and KL Rahul (47) put on 121 for the second wicket.

Mitchell Starc took 3-56, while there were two wickets apiece for Pat Cummins (2-44) and Kane Richardson (2-43) in a superb performance in the field for the tourists.

The magnificent Finch (110 not out from 114 balls) and Warner (128no off 112) reached the victory target with 12.2 overs to spare, staging the highest opening stand in an ODI against India, as Marnus Labuschagne was not required to bat on debut.

Warner become the fourth fastest to 5,000 ODI runs – and the quickest Australian – in the process and has four centuries in his last eight international knocks in the 50-over format.

India, beaten by Australia in a series on home soil last year, also lost Rishabh Pant to concussion when he was struck on the helmet, Rahul taking the gloves in his absence in the first of three ODIs

Dhawan got his timing going after a slow start, reaching his 50 in the 20th over with Rahul in good touch at the other end after Rohit Sharma was removed by Starc.

Spinners Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar did a good job of keeping the run-rate down in the middle overs, though, and the left-arm tweaker drew a false shot from Rahul for a much-needed breakthrough.

Cummins came back into the attack to strike a big blow by ending Dhawan's innings in the next over and Virat Kohli (16) was caught and bowled by Zampa immediately after hitting him for six.

Shreyas Iyer also failed to hang around before Ravindra Jadeja (25) was caught behind attempting to cut Richardson, and Pant (28) departed in painful fashion, an attempted pull off Cummins hitting his helmet and resulting in a catch for Ashton Turner. 

India added only 42 runs for the last five wickets and play was stopped due to a kite flying into the stadium before Warner and Finch blew Kohli's side away.

Warner successfully reviewed when he was given out caught behind hooking in the sixth over and needed only 40 balls for a half-century, with Finch raising his bat soon after.

Both openers smashed Kuldeep Yadav over the rope and continued to pierce the field with exquisite strokes on both sides of the wicket, Warner also overturning an lbw decision when he was struck on the pad by Jadeja.

Warner leapt in the air with his trademark celebration after majestically cutting Jasprit Bumrah for four off his 88th ball before Finch swept Jadeja to the boundary for a 15th ODI before stunned India were put out of their misery.

Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper Mat Ryan has pledged to donate A$500 to a wildlife charity for every Premier League save made this weekend amid the bushfire crisis in Australia.

The Socceroos international will send the funds to the WIRES Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation emergency fund.

In posts on Twitter and Instagram, Ryan wrote: "In the light of the devastation caused by the bushfires back home, I'm donating 500 Australian dollars for every registered save by all Premier League goalkeepers across every Premier League fixture for this weekend.

"I've chosen to donate to the WIRES Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation emergency fund. Thank you to all for your support thus far and as a nation we really do appreciate your gratitude and generosity.

"However, there continue to be homes lost, lives of both people and animals lost or in danger, along with whole communities, businesses and more.

"I hope we can continue in the same manner and continue to encourage and influence people into raising money for those affected."

The wildfires are said to have killed 27 people and around 500 million animals. In the state of Victoria 1.2 million hectares have been burnt by blazes while New South Wales has seen almost 1,900 homes destroyed.

Ryan, from Plumpton in New South Wales, pledged $1,000 for every goal scored across the A-League and W-League last week as part of an appeal through Professional Footballers Australia's Footballers' Trust. Twenty-seven goals were scored across the two leagues.

Shane Warne's baggy green cap sold for a record 1,007,500 Australian dollars in a fundraiser for bushfire aid in Australia.

Legendary spin bowler Warne auctioned off his iconic baggy green cap – exclusively awarded to Australia's Test cricketers – to raise money for bushfire victims.

Bushfires continue to ravage Australia, where there have been casualties and devastating losses to wildlife with blazes in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

The online auction ended on Friday morning and Warne's baggy green doubled the record amount paid for one of Don Bradman's caps, which went for 425,000 AUD in 2003, with 100 per cent of proceeds to be donated.

Australia great Warne, who is second on the all-time list for Test wickets with 708, tweeted: "Thank you so much to everyone that placed a bid & a huge Thank you / congrats to the successful bidder - you have blown me away with your generosity and this was way beyond my expectations!

"The money will go direct to the Red Cross bushfire appeal. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you."

Marnus Labuschagne might get through a lot of chewing gum, but he sees no reason to change his batting ritual after playing a starring role in Australia's 3-0 series whitewash of New Zealand.

Australia completed their series sweep thanks to a David Warner century and another five-for from Nathan Lyon, as they sealed a resounding 279-run win in the third Test in Sydney.

Warner's unbeaten 111 led Australia to 217-2, Tim Paine declaring with a 415-run lead, and a comprehensive win was secured as the Black Caps were skittled for 136.

Labuschagne, who scored 215 runs in the first innings and hit 59 in the second, finished with 549 runs for the three-match series.

"It's been an amazing summer," he said at the post-match presentation where he was given the man-of-the-match and man-of-the-series awards.

"It's so special to share these moments with your family, who have been part of your journey. It's hard to put [the success] on one thing, but my level of concentration and not doing any silly things.

"A lot of gum but it's working, so why change. I just love the journey and it's been wonderful being part of this Australian team."

Labuschagne, along with Steve Smith and Warner, won praise from Paine, who says he is honoured to captain an Australia side ranked second in the ICC World Test Championship, while adding he hopes success on the pitch provides the nation with some enjoyment amid the ongoing bushfire crisis.

"I am very lucky to captain this group," the captain said. "Batting has become very consistent with Marnus leading this year and Steve and David back.

"It's a pretty simple task for me at times, to be honest. I think we can still get better, there were moments in this series as well when we were not at our best.

"We are really pleased with the progress we have made in the last 12 months but we know have some big series coming up.

"It hasn't been a great few weeks for our country. Our goal as a team is to give the Australians some entertainment. But our thoughts go out to them and firefighters are doing a great job."

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, meanwhile, acknowledged, his side must learn from their humbling defeat.

"Credit to the Australian team," Williamson said. "They were clinical but they put us under pressure session after session. There's so much to learn from this experience.

"We have a bit of time off, so a bit of regrouping. We were outplayed in all departments. There are number of things to work on and improve upon.

"For a number of guys, it's the first time here and you must appreciate it because you won't get this experience anywhere else."

Australia completed a 3-0 series sweep of New Zealand after David Warner's century and another Nathan Lyon five-for helped the hosts claim a crushing 279-run win in the third Test.

Warner scored an unbeaten 111 to lead Australia to 217-2 declared in their second innings and a mammoth lead of 416 runs on day four at the SCG on Monday.

And New Zealand's horror tour in the trans-Tasman series finally came to an end after being dismissed for 136 during the final half-hour, as Matt Henry did not bat due to injury.

Ross Taylor (22) made history by becoming New Zealand's all-time leading Test runscorer, however, it was another forgettable day for the visitors as Australia spinner Lyon (5-50) finished the match with 10 wickets.

The Black Caps were reduced to 4-2 inside five overs after Mitchell Starc (3-25) tore through openers Tom Latham (1) and Tom Blundell (2), while Lyon and Pat Cummins (1-29) joined in to leave New Zealand reeling on 38-5 after tea.

Taylor was skittled by a stunning Cummins delivery in the over after surpassing Stephen Fleming for his country's record as Australia steamrolled New Zealand inside four days for the third consecutive Test.

Colin de Grandhomme (52), BJ Watling (19) and Todd Astle (17) provided some resistance but Australia showed their class to remain undefeated in their home season.

Tim Paine's side resumed on 40-0, with Warner and his under-pressure opening partner Joe Burns setting about building upon an already commanding lead of 243.

Only two wickets fell as Warner celebrated his third century of the Australian summer and 24th of his career – taking his tally to 786 runs at 131 against Pakistan and New Zealand.

Burns added 24 to his overnight score when he was trapped lbw by Astle (1-41), for 40 despite originally being given not out.

Marnus Labuschagne (59) contributed a quick-fire half-century – his seventh score above 50 in eight innings – before going out swinging to Matt Henry (1-54).

Australia's innings also featured a five-run penalty after umpire Aleem Dar ruled Labuschagne and Warner ran down the protected area of the pitch – the five runs added to New Zealand's first innings, improving it from 251 to 256.

In the final analysis, it made scant difference.

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has become the country's all-time leading Test run-scorer, surpassing Stephen Fleming.

Taylor made history when he reached 21 in New Zealand's second innings against Australia in the third and final Test at the SCG on Monday.

The 35-year-old reached the milestone when he hit Nathan Lyon for three to move past Fleming's record of 7,172 Test runs.

Taylor moved top of the all-time list in his 99th match and 175th innings, however, his celebration was short-lived on another tough day for the Black Caps.

An angling delivery from Pat Cummins steamrolled Taylor and knocked over the stumps to dismiss the record-breaker for 22.

Taylor's dismissal left New Zealand reeling on 38-5 on day four of the final Test, having already lost the trans-Tasman series following back-to-back defeats to Australia.

Australian great and legendary spin bowler Shane Warne will auction off his iconic baggy green cap to raise money for bushfire victims.

Bushfires continue to ravage Australia, where there have been casualties and devastating losses to wildlife with blazes in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

With the country reeling amid the devastating fires, Warne – arguably the greatest spinner of all-time and Australia's most prolific bowler – has joined the fight in a stunning gesture.

Warne, who is second on the all-time list for Test wickets with 708, wrote via Instagram: "The horrific bushfires in Australia have left us all in disbelief. The impact these devastating fires are having on so many people is unthinkable and has touched us all.

"Lives have been lost, homes have been destroyed and over 500 million animals have died too. Everyone is in this together and we continue to find ways to contribute and help on a daily basis.

"This has led me to auction off my beloved baggy green cap [350] that I wore throughout my test career [when I wasn't wearing my white floppy hat]. I hope my baggy green can raise some significant funds to help all those people that are in desperate need.

"Please go to the link in my bio and make a bid & help me to donate a big cheque! Thank you so much [heart emoji] #australianbushfires."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The horrific bushfires in Australia have left us all in disbelief. The impact these devastating fires are having on so many people is unthinkable and has touched us all. Lives have been lost, homes have been destroyed and over 500 million animals have died too. Everyone is in this together and we continue to find ways to contribute and help on a daily basis. This has lead me to auction of my beloved baggy green cap (350) that I wore throughout my test career (when I wasn’t wearing my white floppy hat). I hope my baggy green can raise some significant funds to help all those people that are in desperate need. Please go to the link in my bio and make a bid & help me to donate a big cheque ! Thankyou so much #australianbushfires

A post shared by Shane Warne (@shanewarne23) on

Nathan Lyon was delighted to be able to put on a show for his family and friends as the Australia bowler claimed 5-68 in the third Test against New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The spin bowler shrugged off a nasty thumb injury and two dropped catches as he starred with the ball, helping to skittle the Black Caps for 251 before the hosts extended their lead to 243 runs - without losing a second-innings wicket - at the end of day three.

Lyon had never posted a five-for at the SCG before and was glad to have done so in a fine display on Sunday.

"It's always special being part of the Sydney Test match and playing in front of your family and friends, and to perform in the first innings was pretty special," he said.

"There's still plenty of work to do in the second dig, but if you were rocking up today and saying we'd end up with a lead of 240 and 10 wickets in hand, we'll take that every day."

Australia's bowlers have pledged to donate $1,000AUD to the bushfire relief appeal for every wicket they take in the Test.

Discussing the devastating fires that have swept the country, Lyon added: "We're not doing it [donating money] for recognition or anything like that...we're playing a game of cricket and there's people being severely affected by fires.

"It puts cricket in perspective and it's really showing Australia's true colours. The true heroes of Australia right now are the firefighters and the volunteers.

"Everyone rallies behind someone when they're having a hard time. I'm proud to be Australian in hard times, to be honest, and we're getting around them."

Asked about his impressive recent form, Lyon suggested it was as much about the entire bowling unit as his own efforts.

"I'm fortunate to be part of the best bowling attack in the world so it's just about building pressure from both ends," he said.

"We've been able to do that over the last eight months or so. We're just getting our reward for all our hard work and preparation."

Marnus Labuschagne said it was "very special" to take a record belonging to Australia great Neil Harvey while making his first Test double century.

Labuschagne's 215 helped Australia reach 454 against New Zealand on the second day in Sydney, and it made him the highest-scoring Australia batsman in a five-match home Test campaign.

Harvey totted up 834 runs against South Africa in 1952-53, with Labuschagne going to 837 after his efforts in the matches against Pakistan and New Zealand.

The feat earned Labuschagne praise from Harvey himself, with the 91-year-old telling the Sydney Morning Herald: "What he's done has been very good. He's got discipline and concentration. It looks as though he's going to be around for quite some time. He might pinch some of [Steve] Smith's mantle."

And 25-year-old Labuschagne, who made his Test debut just 15 months ago, was full of pride at his achievement.

"Obviously that's very special, going past a player of that calibre," Labuschagne said.

"It's hard because, when you're midway through a game or series, you don't really have time to stop and reflect on the summer that you've had.

"Looking at it, it's been a very special summer but I think the real privilege is playing in this team, with the camaraderie."

He began the day on 130 not out and was eventually caught and bowled by spinner Todd Astle.

Labuschagne survived the nervous 190s, tottering on 199 for a while before a hefty edge off Colin de Grandhomme for four brought up the double hundred.

He said: "You do get nervous. You probably don't get as nervous as you would if you were on 99. I don't know why, but that's just the feeling. Probably when you're in the 190s, it's about not doing something silly."

New Zealand plugged away to reach 63-0 by stumps and are crying out for a contribution similar to that of Labuschagne.

Australia's double centurion could yet set another record in this match.

England batsman Wally Hammond holds the record for the most runs in a five-Test Australian home summer, with 905 in 1928-29 - a target for Labuschagne should he get the chance to bat again at the SCG.

Marnus Labuschagne's maiden double hundred led Australia to a strong first-innings position before New Zealand mounted a spirited response late on day two of the third Test.

Labuschagne added 85 runs to his overnight score at the SCG and looked at ease until he spooned a catch back to Todd Astle on 215, his highest first-class score.

Tim Paine contributed 35 in a 79-run stand with the world's fourth-ranked Test batsman but the captain's exit led to the loss of five wickets for 44 runs as Australia were dismissed for 454.

New Zealand turned the momentum into a promising batting response, with openers Tom Latham (26) and Tom Blundell (34) unbeaten at the close of play on Saturday.

There was early encouragement for the Black Caps thanks to Matthew Wade's ill-advised sweep, the batsman missing a full delivery from Will Somerville (1-99) in the first over of the day.

Matt Henry, continuing to bowl despite fracturing his left thumb on Friday, removed Travis Head for 10 but dislodging Labuschagne and Paine proved more difficult.

The former passed 150 for the third time in five Tests and patiently navigated his way through a long period spent in the 190s.

Colin de Grandhomme (3-78) squeezed an off-cutter between Paine's bat and pad to reduce Australia to 410-6 before Astle (2-111) and Neil Wagner (3-66) cleaned up the last four wickets.

There were signs of spin during the second session, but Blundell and stand-in New Zealand captain Latham displayed commendable concentration after tea.

The openers saw off a threatening spell from Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon's probing off-spin to reach 63-0 after 29 overs.

Blundell did receive a life when Australia's review for caught behind off Cummins went unrewarded, despite a faint mark appearing on the Hot Spot.

The hosts continue to lead by 391 runs and will look to make inroads into New Zealand's top order on day three as they aim to move closer towards a clean sweep of the three-Test series.

Marnus Labuschagne insists he should not be compared to Steve Smith after the Australia batsman continued his phenomenal run of form with another century against New Zealand.

Labuschagne finished day one at the SCG unbeaten on 130 as the hosts, who already have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, reached 283-3.

It was Labuschagne's fourth ton of the Australian summer, having reached three figures in back-to-back Tests versus Pakistan, and prolonged an extended purple patch.

After entering the Ashes as Test cricket's first concussion substitute when Jofra Archer struck Smith at Lord's, the 25-year-old scored four consecutive fifties to cement his place in the Australia side.

"I haven't had time to sit down and think about how the whole year has unfolded, it's been pretty special," he said, before referencing the stuttering start that followed his Test debut against Pakistan in October 2018.

"This time last year I was sitting here and there was a lot of questions. I'm thankful for the opportunity and scoring runs is always nice. I never take it for granted though, because it can turn very quickly.

"I'm definitely not comfortable. You grow in confidence facing the same opposition – you get used to bowler, you get used to their actions."

Smith, who played a supporting hand with 63, finds himself in the unusual position of not being his side's heaviest runs scorer, although Labuschagne believes he has a long way to go before he reaches the same levels as the former captain.

"I wouldn't be drawing any comparisons to Steve yet," he said. "He's played 73 Tests and averages 63. He's been doing it for a long time and his consistency is amazing.

"Today he showed it again. We do spend a bit of time together and I do enjoy batting with him – watching him go about it and how he figures out different plans.

"It is nice. Once we're both in we talk about different things out there. Nothing changes, I still love batting with him."

Indeed, Labuschagne enjoys batting with Smith so much that he was largely unaware of his team-mate taking 39 deliveries to get off the mark – the latter's duel with left-arm paceman Neil Wagner continuing in absorbing fashion.

"I actually had no idea he was on zero until the 38th ball. I actually thought we were rotating the strike quite well, which is quite funny," Labuschagne chuckled.

"I wondered what all the carry on was and he was like, 'I'm on zero'."

The final Test of Australia's home season is taking place against the backdrop of bushfires ravaging the country and Labuschagne paid tribute to the firefighters trying to tackle the situation

"If all we did today was create a distraction of a bit of enjoyment for people in these tough times then that's a win for us," he added.

"But the focus should be on the firies [firefighters] and what they're doing for the community. That's the most important thing at this moment in time."

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