12BET Cricket News: Mark Waugh’s pick on current ‘number one’ Test batsman in the world
Former Australia skipper Mark Waugh labelled rising Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne as the current “number one batsman in world cricket”. He also said that the player would excel in the 50-over format series against India.
“He is probably the number one batsman in world cricket, albeit in the Test format, but I think he can carry that on into the white-ball format as well. I think he has got to bat in the top four,” Waugh told sydneymorningherald.com.au
Labsuchagne, who made his debut against Pakistan in 2018, broke a 67-year-old record in the recently-concluded series against New Zealand, which Australia won 3-0. After scoring 215 that propelled Australia to 454 in the third Test against New Zealand, Labuschagne has a double century, two 150s, one century and two half centuries in his last seven innings.
The knock took him to 837 runs at an average of 199.57 for the home season, bettering the 834 Australian batting great Neil Harvey tallied in a five-match series against South Africa in 1952-53.”You would imagine Finch and Warner would open Steve Smith at three and Labuschagne at four. I think he is ideally suited at four because he can play spin well, he is a good sweeper of the ball,” Waugh added.
The 25-year-old says he considers the upcoming ODI series against India and aspires to become the batsman for all formats like Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Joe Root. “They’ve been doing it for a very long time, five, six years they’ve been consistent, not just in one format, but two or more formats,” Labuschagne told ESPNcricinfo.
“So for me personally there’s a lot to learn and a lot to grow because I’ve had some success this summer but the real challenge for me is to be more consistent going on and being able to keep putting continued performances on the board.
“If I can continue to do that, then that’s obviously going to be the challenge for me, and getting an opportunity in this one-day series is an opportunity for me to show a slightly different part of my game that we haven’t seen this summer, but that’s a really exciting challenge too,” Labuschagne added.
Australia’s squad for three-match series against India: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey (vc), Pat Cummins (vc), Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
“A big part of playing in India is how you play spin, so for me being nice and clear with my plans about how I play spin and then just trusting the processes I have. Batting in the middle order it’s about running really hard between wickets and trying to get those runs through the middle, then when you get the opportunity towards the back end to open the shoulders a bit,” Labuschagne said.
The first ODI between India and Australia will be played on January 14 at the Wankhede Stadium. (ANI)