Mark Waugh picks current ‘number one’ Test batsman in the world
Showering praise on rising Australia top-order batsman Marnus Labuschagne, former Australia cricketer Mark Waugh labelled him as the number one batsman in Test cricket right now. Labsuchagne, who made his debut against Pakistan in 2018, broke a 67-year-old record in the recently-concluded series against New Zealand, which Australia won 3-0.
Waugh believed Labuschagne can continue his form even in white-ball cricket if he is given an opportunity to bat at No.4.
“He is probably the number one batsman in world cricket, albeit in the Test format, but I think he can carry that on into the white-ball format as well. I think he has got to bat in the top four,” sydneymorningherald.com.au quoted Waugh as saying.
“You would imagine Finch and Warner would open, Steve Smith at three and Labuschagne at four. I think he is ideally suited at four because he can play spin well, he is a good sweeper of the ball,” he added.
After scoring 215 to drive Australia to 454 in the third Test against New Zealand on Saturday, Labuschagne has a double century, two 150s, one century and two half centuries in his last seven innings.
The knock took him to 837 runs at an average of 199.57 for the home season, bettering the 834 Australian batting great Neil Harvey tallied in a five-match series against South Africa in 1952-53.
Commenting on the upcoming three-match ODI series against India, Waugh opined that he would be tested by the Indian spinners, but added that Labuschagne is well equipped to handle whatever is thrown at him.
“He is going to get tested out, obviously, by the spin of India, by the likes of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, those sorts of guys. But a batsman in form going to India is exactly what you need. I think he will go really well,” Waugh said.
Labuschage recently grabbed his career-best ranking and moved to the third place in the latest ICC Test player rankings after a match-winning double-century against New Zealand in Sydney.
The 25-year-old moved up one slot after scores of 215 and 59 in the third Test. He was the highest scorer in the series with 549 runs, while his five previous Tests that include two at home against Pakistan, saw him amass 896 runs.
Australia’s squad for three-match series against India: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey (vc), Pat Cummins (vc), Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
The first ODI between India and Australia will be played on January 14 at the Wankhede Stadium.
(With inputs from ANI)