Watch: Marnus Labuschagne caught sleeping with pads on, served rude Siraj wake-up call in India vs Australia WTC final
Marnus Labuschagne was caught napping - quite literally - when his sleep was interrupted by Mohammed Siraj during the India vs Australia WTC final.
More often that not, a batter, let alone a No. 3 batter in Tests needs to keep his eyes wide and awake when the two opening batters of his team walk out to bat. But Marnus Labuschagne apparently doesn't believe in the theory since he was caught napping – quite literally – when David Warner and Usman Khawaja began Australia's second innings of the World Test Championship final after the Indian team was bowled out for 296 after a brave fightback from Ajinkya Rahane and Shardul Thakur, both of whom scored gritty half-centuries.
With already 173 runs ahead, Khawaja and Warner came to bat with an eye on swelling the lead further. But while both Warner and Khawaja, and the Indian team had their tail up, Labuschagne took what looked like a 'power nap'. Sitting in the team balcony, the camera caught Marnus heads down with his eyes closed, a visual that caught everyone by surprise. The camera remained on Labuschagne for almost 20 seconds during which Marnus did not even flinch.
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However, Labuschagne's nap was abruptly ended by Team India… Siraj to be more precise, who on the very next delivery dismissed David Warner for India's first breakthrough. Siraj, having beaten Warner, twice outside off in the same over, managed to find the nick of the bat as the ball landed straight into wicketkeeper KS Bharat's gloves. The cameras immediately panned towards Labuschagne in the change room, who by then was back up on his feet putting the protecting layers on.
Watch the video below:
A better angle though provided the exact picture, which showed Labuschagne being woken up by the roar of The Oval crowd. A half-sleepy Marnus' head turned, courtesy a timely wake-up call by Siraj, who once again struck with the new ball. In the first innings, he had dismissed Khawaja is an almost similar manner. On his arrival to the crease, Shami welcomed Labuschagne with a ball that climbed on him, hitting Marnus on the gloves. In an identical blow from the first innings, Marnus dropped his bat and jumped in pain but thankfully for him and Australia, no damage was done.
That India were able to pick themselves up from 152/6 owed to a century partnership between Rahane and Shardul. Having survived a dismissal of a no-ball when on 17, Rahane led India's steely fightback and looked set for a 13th Test century. His partner Shardul on the other hand continued his love affair with The Oval, registering his third consecutive half-century at the venue.