The premier Australian batter, Marnus Labuschagne has been witnessing a phenomenal rise in the career in the last three years. He has already scored six centuries and 12 fifties and he has been maintaining an average of 60.40. As he gears up for the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney, Labuschagne had a candid conversation with Cricket Australia where he picked a “perfect batter” based on attributes of current and former players. He picked Sachin Tendulkar’s straight drive and Ricky Ponting’s trademark pulls short to start with.
Explaining the same, Marnus Labushcagne said, “For a righty, I’m gonna start with a Sachin Tendulkar’s straight drive. That was a shot you loved seeing. So crisp and pure. Then I’m gonna go with Ponting’s pull shot – his trademark. Everyone loved seeing the full flow of that.”
It was against England in 2019 that Marnus Labuschagne first showed signs of the player he would become when he played a gritty knock of 69 at the Lord’s. Born in South Africa but raised in Brisbane from the age of 10, Labuschagne had an impressive home season where smashed in five Tests against Pakistan and New Zealand. He further picked Virat Kohli’s energy, highlighting the “energy” that the Indian skipper brings to the table. He also chose Kevin Pietersen’s aggressive mindset while being in the middle.
Elaborating on his choices, Marnus Labuschagne said, “I’m gonna have to go with Virat Kohli’s cover drive. I think the way he plays it, the sort of energy that he brings on that ball. Then Kevin Pietersen’s that sort of leg-side shot. Also Pietersen’s aggression at the crease. I love the way he was at the crease. Very similar to Virat Kohli.”
His next three attributes were Steve Smith’s “hunger”, Jacques Kallis’ temperament, and Andrew Symonds’ on-field celebration. He said, “I’m gonna have to go with Steve Smith’s hunger for runs and determination and adaptability. And then I have to get Jacques Kallis’ temperament and ability to stay at the crease. Andrew Symonds’ hundred with Haydos (Matthew Hayden). Where he jumped and gave Haydos a big hug. That was awesome.”
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Marnus Labuschagne also went on to pick a perfect southpaw batter, where he chose Matthew Hayden’s off-drive and Kumar Sangakkara’s cover drive to start with, followed by the cut shot of Justin Langer.
Explaining the same, Marnus Labishcnagne said, “For the left-hander, I’m gonna start with Hayden’s off-drive and also his energy at the crease. There’s no better, purer cover driver of a cricket ball than Kumar Sangakkara. Cut shot – I’m gonna go with Justin Langer. More of a square drive.”
The Aussie also picked Michael Hussey for his pull shot, Alastair Cook for his ferocity, and David Warner for his bow celebration against Pakistan. Marnus Labishcnagne added, “It’s quite tough and we have to move Huss (Mike Hussey) from the cover drive but I will give him the pull shot. Alastair Cook’s ability to get in and go big. Cooky when he got going, was just all over. I tell you what, I didn’t mind the bow after 300 ( talking about David Warner’s vs Pakistan). We tease him about it but I think that was pretty cool.”