What started out as a concussion substitute for the soon to be Australia's prodigy, Marnus Labuschagne has had a tremendous year in the sport of cricket. The South Africa-born cricketer started the year at number 82 on the ICC Test rankings and ended the year with a career-best of number four just behind Indian skipper Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson.
The Queensland batsman on Tuesday revealed his thought-process and approach towards maintaining his consistency. Labuschagne said, "I just keep it process-driven and not on results. Making sure that every innings I come in with a clear mind and making sure I'm playing what's in front of me and not what's happened in the past and not what I want to achieve – it's right in the moment."
Furthermore, he added, "Apart from that, I'm just loving it. It's a great team to be a part of, and the way we're playing at the moment is really enjoyable." Owing to his ongoing run-scoring spree, Labuschagne has also been called up in Australia's ODI squad touring India in January.
After notching up 353 runs in seven innings, including four fifties, to finish as Australia's second-highest run-getter in the Ashes, Labuschagne has been consistent throughout the home summer, scoring three consecutive centuries and two half-centuries across six innings against Pakistan and New Zealand, operating at an average of 103.66 at home.
The 25-year old said that chewing gum was something that he used because he needs something to get going and get into the contest. He added that it has helped him relax because subconsciously he kept blowing bubbles. Labuschagne made an entry into the Test squad when he was called up to be Smith’s concussion substitute during the Ashes. The right-hander has flourished at the No. 3 position since then with people comparing him with ace batsman Steve Smith.
The comparisons between Labuschagne and Smith go far beyond just the heaps of runs they score. Both of them are jittery at the crease and are self-confessed cricket geeks. The pair have formed a close friendship in recent months, with some even going as far as labelling it as 'bromance'.