Former India captain Sachin Tendulkar has hailed the impressive emergence of Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne.
Labuschagne debuted for Australia in 2018 – and has become a permanent fixture in the Test XI since acting as a concussion substitute during last year's Ashes series against England. He has struck four centuries and eight half-tons in 14 Tests. Labuschagne will likely feature in the 2020-21 Ashes series, too. Meanwhile, bet365 have Australia priced at 1.50 to win that Ashes series.
What Tendulkar said
“I was watching the second Test at Lord's and when Steve Smith got injured I saw Labuschagne's second innings. I was sitting with my father-in-law and I saw Marnus getting hit second ball off Jofra Archer and post that, the 15 minutes he batted, I said ‘this player looks special' there was something about him,” said Tendulkar.
“His footwork was precise; footwork is not physical, it's mental, if you aren't think positively then your feet don't move. So that clearly indicated to me that this guy is mentally strong. If you are not your feet would not move.”
The right-handed Labuschagne has been named in Australia's squad for the upcoming ODI series against South Africa. All-rounder Mitchell Marsh and batsmen Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell have also been included. Batsman Marcus Stoinis has been placed on standby.
“It is fantastic to have Glenn. The same can be said for Mitchell. He has been in tremendous touch with the bat for the Perth Scorchers since his return from injury and is now back bowling well. His performances warranted inclusion in the area he operates as a powerful middle-order batsman and handy bowler,” said national selector Trevor Hohns.
“Matthew is also in red-hot form with the bat. He is a very strong fielder, and a great person to have in any team. He can also substitute as wicketkeeper if required. Marcus is a standby player for each squad and was unlucky to miss out due to the makeup of the current top order. It is terrific to have a backup player of his calibre in such good form.”
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (captain), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey (wicketkeeper), Pat Cummins (vice-captain), Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.