Marnus Labuschagne has put his hand up to open the batting in the third and final ODI against India in Canberra after David Warner was ruled out of the limited-overs leg of the series.
Labuschagne has said that he would “enjoy” the opportunity to open the batting in one-day cricket if the opportunity presents itself in the absence of David Warner for the last match against India. The middle-order batter made a key contribution in the second game in Sydney, making a handy 70 after coming in at No.4, where nine of his 11 ODI innings have come.
"Certainly if I got asked to open the batting absolutely it's an opportunity that I would enjoy doing. We'll wait and see how our team shapes up for the next game and see the balance of the side, but yeah I would love doing it. My role at No.4 is just to read the situation of the game and play my role accordingly,” Labuschagne said ahead of the final ODI.
"We had Steve [Smith] in so when I came to the crease it was just about building a partnership and a bit of momentum with him, and taking a back seat for the start of my innings. When he was dismissed then me and Maxi [Glenn Maxwell] could play a bit more expansively.
“It was really nice to be able to do the job at the back of the innings, which is something that I haven't had too many opportunities at. But I definitely think it's very important that I read the game and understand the situation of the game and play accordingly.”
Labuschagne also touched upon the Test series and the form some of Australia’s top Test batters were in after the first two ODIs.
"Cricket's a massive confidence game and even though it's a different format, it still gives you a lot of confidence when you're scoring runs consistently and the way Steve and Davey [David Warner] are batting currently, I've got no doubt they'll be able to transfer that into the Test summer.
Warner 8⃣3⃣— ICC (@ICC) November 29, 2020
This is only the second time when the top 5 of a batting line-up have scored fifty-plus runs in ODI history 💥
Can you recall the first instance?#AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/WxINdmpVgn
“But right now, there's still a lot of games to be played before that, we've just got to make sure we finish this one-day series well and then straight into the T20Is where we start really well."
He hailed Steve Smith’s innings in the second ODI on Sunday, 30 November, as one of the best he had seen in the format. Having put up a 136-run partnership alongside Smith, Labuschagne had a front seat view for the show Smith put up.
"That was one of the best innings I've seen in one-day cricket, not only from Steve but from anyone. When someone's doing that, that's kind of scary.
"It was really nice to build that partnership with him, 136, it was just nice to keep ticking it over and we were really busy through that middle part when we came together, then towards the back-end Steve really took the game on and that's how we got 390. They're two very big scores in the last two games, thanks obviously to Steve."
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