Australia captain Pat Cummins heaped praise on middle-order batter Marnus Labuschagne and said that he will push for a spot in the XI for the three-match ODI series against India. Labuschagne failed to make the cut into Australia’s preliminary ODI World Cup squad but he has been knocking on doors for a last-minute entry into the team. The talented batter was in sublime form during the five-match ODI series against South Africa where he was the leading run-getter with 283 runs in 5 matches.
Labuschagne recently came in as a concussion substitute against South Africa after all-rounder Cameron Green got hit on the head. He grabbed the opportunity
“Marnus (Labuschagne) is always ringing in my head, 24 hours,” Cummins said in the press conference on the eve of the opening ODI.
“He was fantastic. He was our best batter in South Africa. Not only batting-wise, his intent was excellent there in South Africa. I am sure he will get his chance in three games and push for his spot.”
With Travis Head’s recent injury, Labuschagne has a chance to make an entry into World Cup final squad.
The Australia skipper also backed Adam Zampa and suggested that despite his underwhelming show in South Africa, the team could be used in death overs against India.
“Particularly, if you pick four frontline bowlers, they have to be ready to bowl in all phases.
“Zamps (Adam Zampa) is not only good in keeping the run rate down but can also pick a couple of wickets in death overs, which could be hard on pace bowlers. So I won’t be surprised if we keep his 2, 3 or 4 overs up our sleeves,” Cummins said.
Australia want to win the series but don’t want players to get tired in sultry conditions before the World Cup.
“We want to get those combinations but don’t want to already get cooked by the time we play that first game. We will try different combinations and few different players will get chance,” Cummins said.
Mitchell Marsh’s captaincy impressed the regular skipper and in case he takes a day off, the all-rounder will lead.
“He (Marsh) was great. Excellent. We saw in the T20 series (in SA), started off with a bang but it was disappointing finish in ODIs. We did a lot of good stuff as well. We were impressed as to how he was around the boys and looked very calm every time on the field,” Cummins said.