Labuschagne admits Jos Buttler drop in second Ashes Test left him "in disbelief"

Marnus Labuschagne admits he was "in disbelief" after being dropped by Jos Buttler just before the close as Australia put themselves in a strong position in the second Ashes test at the Adelaide Oval.

The Australian no 3 will resume play tomorrow on 95 not out, but only after England wicketkeeper Buttler shelled a simple chance to catch up after the tourists had taken the second new ball.

Already 1-0 up in the series following their nine-wicket win in Brisbane, the hosts finished on 221-2 after stand-in skipper Steve Smith opted to bat after winning the toss.

Labuschagne was at the crease by the end of the eighth over, ironically after England wicketkeeper Buttler produced a sublime one handed catch to remove Marcus Harris (3) after he gloved a Stuart Broad delivery.

Then came a stand of 172 between the Queensland player and opener David Warner though, with the latter reaching 95 before gifting a catch to Broad off Ben Stokes ' bowling.

Labuschagne and Smith, who replaced Pat Cummins as captain after the fast bowler was identified as a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case, then faced a tricky period in the final session as the pink ball began darting around under lights.

Buttler had already put down a difficult chance to snaffle Labuschagne when he was on 21, but there was no excuse second time around after James Anderson drew a nick out of the right-hander – only for the keeper to spill a regulation catch.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, the 27-year-old acknowledged his good fortune.

"That was massive for the team just getting through that period, me and Steve. It sets us up really well to get a big first innings score tomorrow.

"The last bit of play there I just wavered a bit where I played that shot and got dropped. I was a bit in disbelief, but it's my job to make sure I capitalise on that now. I gave them a chance there and I gave them a chance earlier, going down leg so I've got to make sure that tomorrow I give away no chances."

He was also full of praise for Warner who he said "batted beautifully" after an uncharacteristically slow start.

England batting coach Graham Thorpe conceded "Dropped catches hurt us. Jos will have to clear his mind and go again.

"No-one means to drop catches but that's the game and sometimes it can happen to you. We need to get around him and support him."

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