The ‘best since Bradman’ is a title crowned over a number of players over the years. In today’s era, that accolade now sits with Marnus Labuschagne after his maiden Ashes hundred which set up Australia’s commanding position in Adelaide. His previous performances and stats back him up for this title well.
Labuschagne currently has the second-highest average (with a 20-innings cut-off) of all male Test cricketers behind the immortal 99.94 figure. He moved up two spots during this innings in what is an all-Australia top four with Adam Voges’ short but prolific career placing him at No. 3 and then Steven Smith, whose average has previously peaked at 64.81, in fourth. Labuschagne’s batting average in the first innings of Tests since his recall in the 2019 Ashes is 102.00. He is too impressive in the longest format of the game, isn’t he?
You can’t really think like that – Labuschagne about making or breaking records
“That’s the first I’ve heard of it,” Labuschagne said. “It’s a special feeling, but Bradman’s done and a couple of nicks and you right back down the pecking order. You can’t really think like that. I just think of trying to score as many runs as possible each innings to put us in positions to win games. The personal performances and accolades are nice but winning games is by far the most enjoyable part.”
“Think it’s always a part of the game I’ve had, leaving the ball, that decision-making around off stump. In particular the majority of this innings I felt I left the ball quite well. I never really felt in, it was one of those wickets [where] you always felt like you were grinding away. Never felt like any of the runs I was making were easy.”
Labuschagne talks the pink-ball contest for batters
While boosting his career figure, this century also enhanced his magnificent record against the pink ball which has brought him three centuries with an average of 84.57. Despite that, he stuck to his opinion that the pink-ball contest is a tougher version of the Test game for batters.
“If anything it’s harder,” he said. “It’s harder to get a rhythm with the pink ball and every game is so different. We played against Pakistan and the wicket had a bit less grass so it was a bit flatter, played here last summer against India and it was quite two-paced. Then this game, there’s a bit more grass and it felt like it was seaming all day when they put the ball in the right area. You didn’t know where your run was going to come from.”