The rise of Marnus Labuschagne

Aniket Gupta

Marnus Labuschagne

Catching the attention of the cricket fraternity with his stellar performances in Test cricket, the South African-born Australian cricketer has shown his mettle in International cricket. The promising Australian is currently the third-ranked Test batsman on the ICC rankings.

Labuschagne started his professional career with the Queensland cricket team. He played his first match in the 2014-15 Sheffield Shield season against South Australia. After having an impressive outing with the bat, he became a regular in the side. He captured the attention of national selectors after he became Queensland's leading run-scorer in the 2017-18 Sheffield Shield season.

Having been a surprise call-up to the national squad as Australia began to rebuild ensuring the ball-tampering scandal, he made his international debut for Australia against Pakistan on 7 October 2018. He was out for a duck in the first innings and managed to score 13 runs in the second. He performed better in his second Test where he took five wickets and made scores of 25 and 43.

In pursuit of bolstering his game, Labuschagne signed for Glamorgan County Cricket Club for the 2019 English cricket season. He amassed 1114 runs in his first County Championship season, which included five hundreds and five half-centuries with a staggering average of 61.89. He also picked 19 wickets and was befittingly named the 2019 County Championship Player of the Year.

After his exploits in County cricket, he was called up to the Australian Ashes squad. On 18 August 2019; day five of the second Test at Lord's, Labuschagne made headlines after he became the first cricketer to come on to bat as a concussion substitute in a Test match. He replaced the injured Steve Smith and showed a lot of resilience against an in-form Jofra Archer. By the end of the series, he scored 353 runs with four half-centuries to his name.

Continuing his form in the series against Pakistan, he made his maiden Test century at the Gabba. Runs came flowing through as he scored another ton in the second Test and started the New Zealand series with another score of over hundred, making it three consecutive centuries. Exhibiting his consistency, he followed it up with two successive half-centuries.

Marnus Labuschagne was named the ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year in January 2020 for scoring a mountain of runs (1104 to be precise) in Test cricket in 2019. During the year he climbed 106 places to become the fourth-ranked Test batsman on the ICC rankings. He started 2020 with a double-hundred in the third Test against New Zealand.

The swashbuckling middle-order batsman was named in the Australian squad for the ODI series against India. He made his ODI debut on 14 January 2020 and scored 100 runs in two innings. Virat Kohli praised the youngster's everlasting energy on the field and backed him to be a top player in the world for a while.