Australia’s latest number 3 Marnus Labuschagne has made a spectacular start to his international cricket and has established himself at number 3. He has scored 1,103 runs at 58.05, including three centuries, which have come in his past three Tests.
Australia will take on New Zealand at Melbourne Cricket Ground and Labuschagne has a chance to enter an elite list of Australian players. If he can make a century at MCG, he will join a select list of Australian players to have scored a century in four consecutive innings.
The legendary Don Bradman managed it three times – including in a record six straight Tests against England in 1937-38.
Jack Fingleton (1936), Neil Harvey (1949-50), Matthew Hayden (2001-02 and 2005) and Steve Smith (2014-15) are the other Australians to have slammed centuries in four straight Tests.
It has been a superb year for Labuschagne in Test cricket. Ever since he came on as a concussion substitute for Steve Smith in the Ashes, he has scored runs and has nailed down the position in the batting order. After this prolific season, he has received a call-up to the Australian ODI squad which is touring India next year.
“We … believe Marnus Labuschagne is ready for his international white ball debut after his strong form for Queensland in this form of the game,” said head selector Trevor Hohns.
Coming back to the Boxing Day Test match, Australia could play five specialist bowlers against New Zealand during the second Test, captain Tim Paine said Wednesday, with the decision being left until the last moment. The Melbourne Cricket Ground track has been lifeless during the past two Boxing Day Tests, making it hard to take 20 wickets, although a Sheffield Shield match there this month was abandoned due to a dangerous pitch.
(With agency inputs)