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Marnus Labuschagne is ready to open the innings in the absence of David Warner

AUS vs IND: Marnus Labuschagne ready to open in David Warner’s absence


Marnus Labuschagne has quickly made a name for himself on the international stage. Entering the limelight after his stellar performances with the bat in the Ashes last year, the Australian has earned himself a crucial role in all formats of the game for his side. Hence, it was not very surprising to hear Marnus Labuschagne put his hand up to open the innings in David Warner’s absence.

In the recently concluded second ODI, David Warner hobbled off the field after suffering a groin injury that has put him out of the rest of the limited over format games. This means Warner will miss the last ODI on Wednesday and the three T20 matches scheduled after that.

Australia have outplayed India in the opening two matches of the Australian summer, taking a 2-0 lead in the ODI series which makes the last match on Wednesday a dead rubber. Marnus Labuschagne has made it clear that he is more than willing to open the innings alongside captain, Aaron Finch if the need be.

“Certainly if I got asked to open the batting absolutely it’s an opportunity that I would enjoy doing. We’ll wait and see how our team shapes up for the next game and see the balance of the side, but yeah I would love doing it,” Labuschagne said. “My role at No.4 is just to read the situation of the game and play my role accordingly.”

Marnus Labuschagne played a crucial knock coming in at number four in the second ODI against India. He registered a score of 70 runs out of 61 runs at a strike rate of just under 115. Labuschagne rotated strike and gave majority of the strike to Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell who guided Australia too a score of 389 runs. Labuschagne hung around with both the batsman and played a sensible knock.

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“We had Steve in so when I came to the crease it was just about building a partnership and a bit of momentum with him, and taking a back seat for the start of my innings. When he was dismissed then me and Maxy could play a bit more expansively. It was really nice to be able to do the job at the back of the innings, which is something that I haven’t had too many opportunities at. But I definitely think it’s very important that I read the game and understand the situation of the game and play accordingly,” said Labuschagne.

“Cricket’s a massive confidence game and even though it’s a different format, it still gives you a lot of confidence when you’re scoring runs consistently and the way Steve and Davey are batting currently, I’ve got no doubt they’ll be able to transfer that into the Test summer. But right now there’s still a lot of games to be played before that, we’ve just got to make sure we finish this one-day series well and then straight into the T20s where we start really well,” added the Australian.

Marnus Labuschagne awed by Steven Smith’s brilliance

Marnus Labuschagne has found himself batting alongside Steven Smith on quite a couple of occasions, at the Ashes and the New Zealand Tour last year. But, he has been left surprised by Smith’s innings in the first two ODI’s against India where he has been attacking the Indian bowlers right from the onset and scoring two centuries.

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“That was one of the best innings I’ve seen in one-day cricket, not only from Steve but from anyone,” Labuschagne said. “I think the way he batted yesterday was superb. It almost felt like he didn’t give an opportunity, didn’t really take any risk, but he got a hundred off 62 balls,” said Labuschagne.

“When someone’s doing that, that’s kind of scary. It was really nice to build that partnership with him, 136, it was just nice to keep ticking it over and we were really busy through that middle part when we came together, then towards the back end Steve really took the game on and that’s how we got 390. They’re two very big scores in the last two games, thanks obviously to Steve,” added the Australian.

Marnus Labuschagne will be looking forward to add more runs to his tally in the third ODI and gain good confidence moving forward into the T20 and Test series.