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Labuschagne Supports Smith-Green Opening Duo
- Updated: January 9, 2024
Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne sees the potential opening partnership of Steven Smith and the No. 4 spot for Cameron Green as an ideal scenario for the upcoming Test series against the West Indies. Labuschagne, who spoke ahead of the BBL clash between Heat and Perth Scorchers, anticipates a positive impact if Smith moves to open following David Warner’s retirement, with Green taking up the No. 4 position.
Labuschagne expressed confidence in Smith’s ability to adapt to the opening role, emphasizing the excitement and motivation it brings to the experienced batsman. Acknowledging Green’s remarkable record at No. 4 for Western Australia, Labuschagne believes the young all-rounder’s success in that position will likely translate to Test cricket.
The potential batting-order change appears favorable to Labuschagne, highlighting the positive mindset of both players and their willingness to embrace the challenge. He believes this swap, if implemented, aligns perfectly with Smith’s readiness for an immediate contribution at the beginning of the innings.
Labuschagne emphasized that the desire for the change stems from both Smith and Green, making it a strategic move driven by the players themselves. He mentioned the versatility required at No. 4, praising Green’s temperament, decision-making skills, solid technique, and defensive capabilities. Labuschagne also noted Green’s adaptability to various playing scenarios, citing his successful performances in the IPL and against extended periods of short-ball bowling in England.
Labuschagne clarified that such a change in the batting order wouldn’t undermine the current openers, Cameron Bancroft, Marcus Harris, and Matt Renshaw. Instead, he sees it as a reflection of the selectors’ intent to field the best six batters in the country. Highlighting Green’s impressive average of 50-plus in Shield cricket, Labuschagne emphasized the rarity of such a feat.
In conclusion, Labuschagne believes that the potential opening partnership of Smith and the No. 4 spot for Green is an optimal strategy for the upcoming Test series, showcasing the depth and versatility of Australia’s batting lineup. The decision appears to be player-driven, with both Smith and Green demonstrating the skill and mindset to make a significant impact in their respective roles.
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By- Sahiba Suri