Marnus Labuschagne soaks up the spoils of Australia’s series win over New Zealand. Picture: Brett Costello
Marnus Labuschagne soaks up the spoils of Australia’s series win over New Zealand. Picture: Brett Costello

Marnus’ plan to prove white-ball class on ‘toughest’ tour

AUSTRALIA'S in-form batsman Marnus Labuschagne is relishing the chance to face his toughest challenge yet - his one-day international debut in India - following a record-breaking summer on home soil.

The 25-year-old entered into Australian folklore with a record 896-run haul across five Tests, which included a double century at the SCG and man-of-the-series honours.

His brilliant batting performance has seen him likened to some of the game's greats and Australia coach Justin Langer was even happy to humour Ricky Ponting's observation that Labuschagne could be a future Test captain.

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However, the right-hander has kept a level head among all the praise when he returned home to Brisbane this week.

"It gives me goosebumps," Labuschagne said of the plaudits.

"(But) there's a lot more to be done before anything like that can be talked about.

"Guys like Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith - those guys have been doing it for five, six years so to have one good summer doesn't make you a great player.

"For me, it's just about trying to be consistent and trying to get Australia to win games. If I can do that, I'll be happy."

Marnus Labuschagne raises his bat after reaching another milestone during his record-breaking summer.
Marnus Labuschagne raises his bat after reaching another milestone during his record-breaking summer.

Labuschagne will have Wednesday to put his feet up and rest before he travels to India with the ODI squad on Thursday for a three-match series beginning on Tuesday.

His meteoric rise began on the Australia A tour of India in 2018 and he said playing on the subcontinent was one of the toughest tests in cricket.

"Whenever you play India, it's a tough series because they're a tough opposition," he said.

"As a player, you always want to test yourself against the best opposition in the toughest conditions and there's no tougher than going to India against India so it's going to be very good."

Widely considered an excellent player of spin bowling, Labuschagne said he would be picking the brains of Smith, Aaron Finch and David Warner while attempting to prove his white-ball credentials against Virat Kohli's team.

"I really enjoy the shorter format," he said.

Marnus Labuschagne celebrates a century for Queensland in the Marsh Cup.
Marnus Labuschagne celebrates a century for Queensland in the Marsh Cup.

"A format change and obviously the wickets will be different, but I've got a lot of experience to lean on.

"Guys who have played there for five, six or seven years in the IPL and toured there for Australia five or six times.

"I've got a lot to learn."

Labuschagne's Brisbane Heat teammate Ben Cutting added to the symphony of praise for the Queenslander.

"From when I first saw him a couple of years ago in club cricket coming up against him, he was always someone who would take the fight to the bowlers and he was only 18-19 then," Cutting said.

"I sort of earmarked him back then with serious potential so hopefully he keeps going for another 10-15 years."

His brilliant batting performance has seen him likened to some of the game's greats and Australia coach Justin Langer was even happy to humour Ricky Ponting's observation that Labuschagne could be a future Test captain.

News Corp Australia


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