Teams Played For
Australia, Queensland, Brisbane Heat, Australia A, Cricket Australia XI, Glamorgan, Finch XI
The rise of Marnus Labuschagne at the international level has been nothing short of a fairytale. Coming on as a concussion substitute for Steve Smith in the Ashes Test at Lords in August 2019, Labuschagne was hit on the helmet by a vicious bouncer on the very first delivery by Jofra Archer. Despite getting hit, he got up instantly and gave a stare back to Archer just to say “ I am up for the challenge”. It was a statement not only to the English team but also to his own teammates that he was ready for the chin music.
Labuschagne went onto score a brilliant 74 and there was no looking back for him since then. He went on cement his place in the Test team and by the time the year ended, Labuschagne was the leading run-scorer in Tests eclipsing Steve Smith. It was no mean achievement as he went on from strength to strength. He smashed 4 centuries in 5 home Tests against Pakistan and New Zealand. It also included a sensational double century against Pakistan.
Born in Klerksdorp, a relatively unknown city in South Africa, Labuschagne emigrated to Australia with his family in 2004. He only became fluent in English after coming to Australia as he grew up speaking Afrikaans. The promising batsman attended the Australian Institute of Sport and went onto represent Queensland in age-group cricket. He graduated from U 15 and then went onto play in both U 17 and U 19 sides. He made a name for himself at the junior level with his consistent performances.
On the back of his impressive returns at the junior level, Labuschagne was handed over his first-class debut at the Adelaide Oval in the 2014-15 Sheffield Shield and went onto impress one and all with a brilliant knock of 83 in only his first innings under pressure. He went onto score a duck in the 2nd innings but his impressive knock under pressure in the 1st essay was taken note of.
In the coming years, Labuschagne grew as a batsman and was scoring quite consistently. He had an offseason in the Sheffield Shield but his stroke-making and composure at the crease were exceptional. He impressed in the limited-overs format and amassed 271 runs in the 2016-17 Matador BBQ’s One Day Cup. Owing to his consistent returns, Labuschagne was unanimously declared as the Player of the Tournament.
Labuschagne received a surprise call-up to the Australian squad for the Test series against Pakistan in UAE in 2018 as Australia was trying to build a team following the ball-tampering scandal. He was dismissed for a first-ball duck and was then given the difficult responsibility of batting at No 3 against India a Sydney in January 2019 in only his 3rd Test. He looked good for his knock of 38 but it was later in the year when Labuschagne made headlines with his outstanding performances in the Ashes and went onto become a household name.
Labuschagne is currently one of the most important batters for Australia especially in the longest format and just 14 Tests into his career, Labuschagne is already the 3rd ranked batsman in the latest ICC Test Rankings. He has also played a handful of limited-overs matches for Australia and has an impressive record there as well.