Australia is used to Marnus Labuschagne scoring runs for fun but the Queenslander is looking more human than ever after his latest dismissal.
Marnus Labuschagne has been used to pulling off superhuman feats in his short Test cricket career but his mortality is finally showing after his latest cheap dismissal.
Australia got off to a strong start in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle despite facing challenging conditions, with the ball turning sharply already on day one.
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But Labuschagne managed just 13 runs before reverse sweeping to the only man behind square on the off-side.
After racing to 47 before the loss of the first wicket, Labuschagne’s baffling dismissal was followed by Steve Smith being run out in the most ridiculous of circumstances.
Australia went to stumps at 3/98 with Usman Khawaja 47 not out and Travis Head on six.
In Australia, Labuschagne has proven to be an absolute world beater, hitting all six of his centuries and averaging 63.79 on home soil.
In England, Labuschagne has four 50s in seven innings and averages 50.43.
But the subcontinent is known for being one of the harshest testing grounds for Aussie stars and Labuschagne has struggled so far.
In his debut UAE tour in 2018, Labuschagne averaged 20.25. He scored 90 in one innings against Pakistan in Australia’s most recent series but only managed 170 runs across all five innings at an average of 34.
He has just one fifty in his past 11 innings since he scored 103 and 51 during the second Ashes Test in Adelaide.
Labuschagne came under scrutiny for his questionable shot selection after Wednesday’s reverse sweep gone wrong.
Sky Sports’ Brad Davidson tweeted: “Such a great start by the Aussies with the bat squandered by a poor reverse sweep from Marnus and a mix up that sees Steve Smith run out. We’ve been dominant this last hour but 3-83 says otherwise.”
CODE Sports’ Lachlan McKirdy posted: “Australia only have themselves to blame for throwing away this good start. Both Labuschagne and Khawaja will be really annoyed with themselves, the latter for selling Steve Smith a dream.”
However, it wasn’t all bad for the review-happy Labuschagne as he saved Australia’s bacon in the field.
With two balls left before lunch, Mitchell Swepson almost had his first wicket of the match after a brilliant ball to Dimuth Karunaratne looked to have him plumb LBW.
Aussie skipper Pat Cummins wanted the review and so did every other Aussie on the field, with the exception of Labuschagne.
The Queenslander is usually first to fire all kinds of audacious review requests at Cummins but was quick to say the ball brushed Karunaratne’s glove.
“Not often that happens that Labuschagne doesn’t want to have a look up stairs,” commentator HD Ackerman said.
Laughing, Brad Haddin added: “Normally he’s the most enthusiastic about going upstairs but he was quick to tell the captain it hit his glove on the way through.”
“Must have been a big glove,” Ackerman replied.