Australian run-machine Marnus Labuschagne has a good friend giving him throwdowns with a taped tennis ball as his pet dog doubles up as a keeper, ensuring the owner of the house loses none of his batting skills during the lockdown period.
Labuschagne was this week named alongside compatriots Pat Cummins and Ellyse Perry among Wisden Almanack's Players of the Year.
With all cricket and sport coming to a standstill owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, and lockdowns enforced in many countries as one of the means to fight the disease, Labuschagne has devised an innovative way to continue his practice at home. He found help in a friend who is currently also isolating at the home where Labuschagne lives with his wife, Rebekah.
SEE: Marnus Labuschagne practices on a synthetic pitch while his dog 'plays wicket-keeper'. Video courtesy: Heatbbl/Instagram
"I have for the last couple of days, just because I've missed it," Labuschagne told Melbourne's SEN Radio on Thursday when asked about his return to batting after Australia's ODI series against New Zealand was called off last month.
"I'm lucky enough that I've actually got one of my best mates living with me at the moment.
"He's in isolation with me. So, me and him are getting a few throw downs, and doing a bit of training."
In a video, Labuschagne is getting throwdowns from his friend in his backyard, even as his dog seemed to be waiting in anticipation behind the stumps.
"That's about as much cricket as I'm getting ... a taped-up tennis ball in the backyard with a dog thrower.
"I'm playing a little bit of tennis, where it's allowed with the isolation rules, to get my fitness in. And I'm doing gym, so there's a lot of stuff to stay on top of."
For his practice, he is using a makeshift synthetic strip that runs through the garage of his Brisbane home.
Labuschagne averages over 63 from 14 Tests and has scored four hundreds and eights fifties.
The extraordinary situation has meant Labuschagne won't get to face the world's best fast bowlers for an indefinite period. The break from cricket has given him the time to reflect on what he has achieved in the past year but he cannot wait to start playing cricket again.
"I really hope that it all turns quickly and that we get on top of this virus and get back playing and see not just cricket, but live sport," he said.
"I don't know how long away we are from getting crowds back in grounds, but I think our first objective is to get sport back on television."
The Coronavirus pandemic, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province, has so far claimed over 88000 while infecting more than 14 lakh people across the world.