Marnus Labuschagne is aware that he has batted on a harder pitch in preparation for this tour despite the fact that this India series has already featured some of cricket’s most hazardous surfaces.
He sprinkled a black mat that he purchased from Bunnings with errant aluminium sheets.
In order to be ready for his tour of Pakistan last year, he used it in his hallway and backyard, and he has subsequently used others that are comparable.
On Marnus’ handcrafted monsters, balls fly all around at weird angles, yet they serve a purpose that goes beyond lads having fun.
Despite not scoring the big innings he obviously seeks, Labuschagne has quietly nipped, pushed, and noodled his way to the top of the Australian averages on tour with one Test still to play.
The figures aren’t mind-blowing—178 runs at 35—but you could argue that in a bowler-dominated series, 35 is more like 50, so it’s fairly impressive.
In comparison to other Australian players, Labuschagne has scored more runs in India (Usman Khawaja is the next best with 153), faced more balls (375), and hit more fours (27) than any other player from either side.
Although he hasn’t reached the half century mark (his best score is 49), his love of shady deck cricket means that he thrives on the absurd hurdles he faces when playing against his friends at home on his Bunnings barnstormers.
In backyard cricket, Labuschagne once claimed that if a team scores more than 17 runs, the surface is too flat.
“Of course it helps,’’ Labuschagne told News Corp earlier this season about batting on homemade decks.
“I play a lot of backyard cricket with my mates but when I am playing it I am learning. I am not just sitting there hitting balls and mucking around.
“You are always growing. There are definitely times when those skills cross over in to Test cricket.
“Those skills grow. They compile into something. You don’t know when it pays off.’’
Kepler Wessels, a South African-born batter, discovered the same idea when he used to purposefully scatter stone on the Brisbane Valleys practise nets before he played for Queensland or Australia.
Despite the loss of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Australia still has a lot to gain from the final Test.
A win and a score of 2-2 for Australia would be an outstanding outcome for a squad that is missing four players, including its captain, owing to illness, poor play, or personal obligations.
Australia’s chances of winning a series in India fluctuate, appearing within touching distance at other times and a moon ride away at others.
Prior to getting bowled out in a session during the second Test against India in Delhi, Australia was in a position to really threaten India. They were possibly two excellent batting sessions away from leading the series 2-1.
Australia’s close defeat to India in the 2001 series opened the door for their historic triumph in 2004.
If Australia is willing to learn from these experiences, they might also mean a lot.
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