Misfiring Labuschagne little concern for Australia coach

Misfiring Labuschagne little concern for Australia coach

Christchurch, Mar 4 : The form of the Australia No.3 batter Marnus Labuschagne is not causing too much worry for head coach Andrew McDonald.

McDonald is unperturbed by some indifferent recent form from key batter Marnus Labuschagne as the reigning ICC World Test Championship winners get set to name an unchanged XI for the second Test against New Zealand.

Labuschagne managed contributions of just one and two during Australia’s emphatic 172-run triumph in the first Test against New Zealand in Wellington and the right-hander has now failed to score more than 10 in his past three Test appearances.

While McDonald acknowledged Labuschagne was not scoring as well as he would like, the Australian coach is happy to back his No.3 to turn his form around starting with the second Test against the Kiwis that commences in Christchurch on March 8, an ICC report said.

“I don’t think there’s any great concern from our point of view, in terms of we want the top six or seven batters to be performing as a collective,” McDonald said.

“So while the rest are performing around that and you’re winning games of cricket, the concern levels are fractionally lower,” he said.

“Over time there’s going to be some ebbs and flows in your career and I thought in the second innings … the intent and the energy he (Labuschagne) brought to the crease – and it was only two runs, so I don’t want to get carried away – but that’s what we see when he’s at his best,” McDonald said.

McDonald pointed to Labuschagne’s unbeaten 62 not out against Pakistan in January and 11th Test century during the Ashes series with England in the middle of last year as innings that showed what the Australian No.3 was capable of.

“We saw that at Sydney (against Pakistan) in the second innings, we saw that at Manchester (in last year’s Ashes) where he had the intent to score and put it back on the bowler,” McDonald noted.

“Sometimes the conditions don’t allow that, and you have to absorb a little bit more,” he said.

“But sometimes he under-values, even in difficult conditions, when he’s showing that intent how much pressure he can put back on to the bowling unit of the opponent,” McDonald added.


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