Marnus Labuschagne eyes No. 3 position in ODIs

Omkar Paranjape
Monday, 13 January 2020

Andrew McDonald (Australia’s stand-in coach) camped out here last night to try and see what time the dew came in. Who knows, everyone is guessing. I think everyone is prepared.” — Kane Richardson, Australia fast bowler

MUMBAI: Australia’s newest Test hero is hoping to push a certain Steve Smith down a position in the one-day batting order if he gets his way.

Marnus Labuschagne, included for the first time in an Australian white-ball squad for the coming three-match series against India, says he wants to fill the vital No.3 position should an opportunity present itself.

“I bat at three for Queensland so (I’d like to bat) three or four,” Labuschagne said. “Batting in the middle order for Queensland probably means that’s why I’m here and what I’ve been selected for.”

Should Labuschagne get his wish, he’ll oust Smith from the position he has occupied 56 times - third only to Ricky Ponting (339) and Dean Jones (131) – and scored seven of his eight one-day centuries from.

The incumbent Test No.3 knows that Smith will likely have the final say on whether he slides down a spot in the batting order.

“I’m not sure where Steve’s going to bat, I think that’ll have a pretty big influence if I play, where I will play,” he said.

Labuschagne has played just once against India – last year’s New Years Test in Sydney – but knows the strength they have in the 50-over format.

“They’re the toughest opponent in the world at the moment in any format, so to be able to play them on their home grounds will be a real challenge and it’s exciting,” he said.

“As a player you want to play against the best and perform against the best and there’s no better place to do it in India against India.”

Alex Carey wants to emulate MS Dhoni as one of the world’s best finishers after accepting his future belongs down the order for Australia.

Carey opened for Australia as recently as last January, but broke records in a World Cup that was the most prolific ever by a batsman outside the top six.

The wicketkeeper has moved from opening to batting No.4 for Adelaide Strikers in this summer’s KFC BBL and accepts believes that will be his future for Australia.

In doing so, he wants to become one of the game’s best finishers, in the same mould as Dhoni. “When you look at the best in the world like MS Dhoni, you want to learn as much as you can from him,” Carey said of the former India skipper.

“I was lucky enough to play against him last year, just the way he took the game deep and won games for India. I aspire to do that one-day (cricket). It’s just improving little parts of my game.”

After a glorious Test summer at one-down, Labuschagne is hoping to secure the same spot in the ODI batting line-up

Related News

​ ​