'Cummins and Smith are great leaders' - Marnus Labuschagne 'not disappointed' after being ignored for Test leadership role
Labuschagne also said he "can't wait" to face James Anderson in the upcoming Ashes, which gets underway from December 8.
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He might have been in the Australia Test setup for only 18 Tests, but Marnus Labuschagne had done enough to be considered for leading the team once Tim Paine resigned in the aftermath of his off-field scandal.
Despite being one of the frontrunners to become the Test skipper for the national side, Labuschagne was not chosen by the Australian selectors, who found Pat Cummins as the right fit for the role, with Steve Smith named as his deputy.
Labuschagne, after being slotted in as a concussion substitute for Smith during the 2019 Ashes, has seen himself rising the ranks rapidly, with the No. 3 spot in the team now belonging to him. But is he disappointed by not being chosen as the one to lead the side? “No, I wasn’t disappointed,” Labuschagne was quoted by India Today.
“I think there are two very good leaders and very good candidates. Cummins is going to do a fabulous job and he’s got plenty of support with Steve as his vice-captain and all the senior players of the group.
“My job right now is to concentrate on scoring runs consistently for Australia and I’m happy for that to be my role for now. You don’t need the title to still be a leader in the group. The target is on your back now that you’re scoring runs and that you’re the main part of that team,” Labuschagne, who averages over 60 after 18 Tests, added.
Australia’s Ashes preparations on track: Marnus Labuschagne
On being asked if Australian players would be underprepared for the red-ball challenge as many of them have been associated with only limited-overs cricket in the recent past, Labuschagne said that the preparations for the Ashes have been on track.
“Everyone’s been preparing well wherever they’ve been. It’s time for us to gel, get the banter back in the squad and get the band going again.”
The young batter himself is excited to go up against the legendary England pacer James Anderson. “I really can’t wait for that challenge to face Jimmy [James Anderson]. You don’t take that many wickets and be England’s best ever without being quality,” he said.