Labuschagne’s growth is phenomenal, says Australian assistant coach

Batting at number 3 for Australia, Marnus Labuschagne has had a monumental Test season lately. The 25-year-old right-handed batsman was included into the Test team as a replacement for Steve Smith. He also made his ODI debut against India earlier this year. “The real surprise for me, and it’s been pretty well documented, was Marnus. His growth into that Test No. 3 position was phenomenal and great to witness,” said Andrew McDonald, the assistant coach for Team Australia.

He also believes that the batsman has filled the void in the top-order perfectly. “I’ve done a fair bit of coaching against him at the state level and had never seen the level he has been able to play at and long may it be the case.” Post the ball-tampering row, Steve Smith and David warner, the two top order batsmen, were banned for one year leaving the Australian batting lineup vulnerable. To reconstruct the batting line-up was a challenge for newly appointed head coach Justin Langer.

Australia, in the process, also lost a Test series at home to India, which had never happened on its soil before. Since then, as the statistics suggest, the batting lineup has been wobbly and Labuschagne seems a ray of hope. He scored 896 runs against Pakistan and New Zealand in five Test matches, with an astounding average of 112. Since his ODI debut against India, Labuschagne has played seven matches and scored runs at the average of 50.83 which includes two halfcenturies and a maiden ODI century against South Africa. McDonald is hopeful about Labuschagne’s inclusion into the Australian squad for the T20 World Cup, supposed to take place in Australia in October-November this year.

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