With the new rule of concussion substitutes in international cricket, the world witnessed the rise of a star named Marnus Labuschagne who became the first ever concussion substitute in Test cricket history after Jofra Archer's lethal bouncer concussed Steve Smith. The right-handed batsman capitalised on the golden opportunity that he received as he played a knock of 59 runs at Lord's.
He then followed it up with scores of 74, 80 and 67 in the next three innings. His performances in England helped him keep his place in the Australian Test squad. When the Aussies kicked off their 2019-20 home season, the 25-year-old batsman registered three consecutive hundreds.
Labuschagne decimated the Pakistani bowling attack with his solid batting performances. He helped the Aussies record their first series win of the ICC World Test Championship. The Australian batsman continued his fine form against New Zealand, guiding his side to one more series win.
He recently made his ODI debut against India and has become a popular name in the international arena but here are the 5 things that you may not know about Marnus Labuschagne.
#5 He was born in South Africa
Very few fans may know that the right-handed batsman's birthplace is Klerksdop, North West Province, South Africa. His parents hailed from the African nation but they migrated to Australia in the year 2004 as his father got a job in an Australian mining company. Marnus learnt the English language only after moving to Brisbane.
He played for Queensland at the domestic level and also signed for Glamorgan in 2019 before he became a big name in world cricket. Labuschagne has played 75 First-Class matches so far where he has amassed 5,498 runs at a splendid average of 43.29. He has slammed 13 hundreds and 32 half-centuries at the first class level.
Note: All statisctics are as of February 2, 2020
#4 He got out for a duck in his maiden Test innings
Since he finished Queensland's highest run-scorer in the 2017-18 Sheffield Shield tournament, he earned a national call-up in 2018. Steve Smith and David Warner were suspended from international cricket as the Australian Test team required the new batsmen to step up and deliver the goods.
The promising Labuschagne made his Test debut versus Pakistan in the UAE. That Test match is remembered for the solid defensive batting performances of Tim Paine and Usman Khawaja who forced the match into a draw. However, Labuschagne had struggled to get going on his Test debut. He lost his wicket for a duck in the first innings before scoring 13 runs in the second innings.
#3 He once got out twice on the same ball
While it is difficult to dismiss Marnus Labuschagne even once now, he had got out twice on the same ball in domestic cricket. Playing for Queensland Bulls versus Victoria Bushrangers in 2015, Labuschagne was struggling to middle the ball. He was batting on 19 runs off 44 deliveries after coming out to bat at the number 3 position.
Slow left-arm bowler, Jon Holland came into bowl the 14th over of the innings and his magical delivery trapped Labuschagne in front of the stumps. The right-handed batsman attempted a reverse sweep however, the ball hit his pads. As the umpire was raising his finger to declare him out, the ball went straight onto his stumps. Thus, Labuschagne got out twice in just one delivery.
Also read: How Marnus Labuschagne became the first-ever concussion substitute, and made the decision count
#2 He played a role in Varun Aaron's dismissal during Australia vs India Gabba Test in 2014-15
Almost four years before he made his Test debut, Marnus Labuschagne had stepped in as a substitute fielder for Australia in their 2014-15 home Test series against India. He came in to field during the second Test of the series at the Gabba. Murali Vijay’s hundred helped India near the 400 runs landmark in the first innings.
The Australian bowlers dismissed eight Indian batsmen for 394 runs and it looked like they would soon wrap up the tail. However, Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav showed some resistance in the middle. They took India’s total to 407 runs as Nathan Lyon and co. toiled to dismiss them. Lyon bowled the final ball of the 108th over to Aaron where the tail-ender tried a shot but the ball went towards the fielder standing at short leg.
Substitute Marnus Labuschagne executed a magnificent catch to send Aaron back to the pavilion. India’s innings ended soon as Labuschagne made his first contribution to the Australian Test team.
#1 He was the first fielder to be penalized for fake fielding
ICC introduced a new rule in the year 2019 where,
“It is unfair for any fielder wilfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball. The umpires have the discretion to award five penalty runs if they determine that such deception is willful.”
This rule came into effect from 1st October 2019 and the first victim of the new law was Marnus Labuschagne. He committed this offence playing for Queensland during the JLT Cup 2019. The then 23-year-old pretended to have caught the ball and attempted a throw however, the umpires noted the incident and they penalised him under the new law. Also, Queensland’s opponents, Cricket Australia XI received five bonus runs for that incident.