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There is going to be some ebbs and flows: Aus coach backs Labuschagne

March 04, 2024 17:30 IST

IMAGE: The Australian coach backed Marnus Labuschagne. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Australia coach Andrew McDonald is unperturbed by batter Marnus Labuschagne's recent run of low scores, saying that there are going to be "ebbs and flows" in one's Test career and the team is much more concerned about their batting line-up performing well as a collective.

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.


In four Tests this year, he has scored 144 runs at an average of 24.00, with the best of 62n.o.

Even the last year was tough for Marnus in the longer format, scoring 803 runs in 13 Tests and 25 innings at an average of 34.91, with a century and four half-centuries. His best score is 111.

Since his last Test century in July last year against England, Labuschagne has scored just 251 runs in seven Tests at a poor average of 20.91, with three half-centuries in 14 innings. His best score is 63.

While McDonald acknowledged Labuschagne was not scoring as well as he would like, the Australian coach is happy to back his number three to turn his form around starting with the second Test against the Kiwis that commences in Christchurch on Friday, March 8.

"I do not think there is 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 as quoted by ICC.

"So while the rest are performing around that and you are winning games of cricket, the concern levels are fractionally lower."

"Over time there is 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 do not want to get carried away - but that is what we see when he is at his best," he concluded.

McDonald pointed to Labuschagne's unbeaten 62n.o 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 Labuschagne 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 do not allow that, and you have to absorb a little bit more."

"But sometimes he under-values, even in difficult conditions, when he is showing that intent how much pressure he can put back on to the bowling unit of the opponent," concluded the coach. 

Source: ANI