Marnus Labuschagne has quickly risen through the ranks and has become Australian batting's mainstay. Labuschagne continued his prolific run-scoring spree as the right-hander slammed his third Test ton in as many innings. The right-hander arrived at the crease when New Zealand bowler Colin de Grandhomme dismissed opener Joe Burns for 9. The 25-year old then continued from where he left off against Pakistan to register another 100+ score in the format.
Labuschagne is fast becoming a Steve Smith clone, with the addition of a dose of bubblegum for good measure. He has been in scintillating form this summer as he has hit three straight centuries to lift his Test average to 60. He scored an unbeaten 110 off 202 balls on the opening day of the first Test against New Zealand at Optus Stadium.
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'.
Labuschagne struck 14 fours and a six in a near-perfect innings against the Kiwis on Thursday. His innings also featured a lot of chewing gum, a calming tactic that Labuschagne turned to last year.
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 classy right-hander has flourished at the No. 3 position.