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Marnus Labuschagne wary of India

'Whenever you play India, it’s a tough series because they’re a very tough opposition'

By TT Bureau in Calcutta

  • Published 8.01.20, 3:17 AM
  • Updated 8.01.20, 3:17 AM
Marnus Labuschagne smashed four hundreds in five Tests through the Australian summer
Marnus Labuschagne smashed four hundreds in five Tests through the Australian summer (AP)

Marnus Labuschagne’s heroics with the bat in the home Tests versus New Zealand is now a thing of the past as he has switched his focus to Australia’s next assignment — a three-match ODI series in India starting January 14.

Labuschagne smashed four hundreds in five Tests through the Australian summer to continue his remarkable ascent in international cricket.

But the ODIs versus India present Labuschagne with a completely new challenge, more so as he is yet to debut in the 50 overs format.

The 25-year-old had toured India with an Australia A side in 2018, a trip that was followed by his Test debut in the UAE a month later. He, however, would be looking towards his seasoned teammates for more information ahead of the ODI series.

“If I get an opportunity, that’d be great. I played some one-day cricket for Queensland earlier and I really enjoyed that. I really enjoy the shorter formats.

“It’s about taking one step at a time… Luckily, I have a wealth of experience there with the presence of Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steve Smith. To continue to learn from those guys is great.

“Whenever you play India, it’s a tough series because they’re a very tough opposition. They’ve got great batsmen and bowlers, so it’s going to be a challenge.

“But as a player you always want to test yourself against the best opposition in the toughest conditions, and there’s nothing tougher than India in India,” Labuschagne was quoted as saying by the Cricket Australia website.

Going into the India ODIs after playing at the SCG is “good preparation” for Labuschagne as conditions there have a little bit of similarities with those in India.

“But with the format change and different wickets, I’ve got a lot of experience to lean on with guys who have played five, six, seven years of IPL and Test tours over there for Australia. So there’s a lot to learn.

“It’s a whole different kettle of fish travelling with the Australian team and what that entails, and going there and playing against India — they’ve obviously got a strong team, so it’s going to be a really good challenge.”

Labuschagne is likely to climb to the third position in the ICC Test rankings, behind only Virat Kohli and Steve Smith, after his majestic 215 against New Zealand in the third and final Test in Sydney. But he insists any comparisons to the modern-day greats are wide of the mark.

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