‘Maybe Sachin wants to put him off’ – Steve Waugh takes a light-hearted jibe at the Master Blaster for praising Marnus Labuschagne
Labuschagne is currently ICC's third ranked Test batsman with 827 rating points.
Updated - Feb 17, 2020 3:33 pm
Steve Waugh, the former Australian captain, doesn’t quite agree with Sachin Tendulkar’s words on Marnus Labuschagne. The legendary Indian batsman earlier said that he was awestruck by Marnus’ batting during the Lord’s Test after Steve Smith was ruled out due to concussion. Sachin was impressed by how Labuschagne batted after copping a blow on his helmet from Jofra Archer.
In fact, it was Archer, who smacked Smith around the neck as well. Labuschagne scored 59 in that innings and didn’t look back. Ever since he came in as Smith’s concussion substitute, Labuschagne has scored 1249 runs in nine games at an incredible average of 83.26. In his last five Tests, he scored four centuries with a top score of 215 at the Sydney Cricket Ground against New Zealand.
“I happened to be watching the second Test match at Lord’s between England and Australia. When Steve Smith got injured, I saw Labuschagne’s second innings. I was sitting with my father-in-law. I saw Marnus get hit off the second ball from Jofra Archer and, post that, the 15 minutes he batted, I said, ‘This player looks special’,” Sachin had said.
Labuschagne has appetite for runs, says Waugh
However, Waugh feels that Tendulkar spoke those words to put Labuschagne off his game. “Maybe he (Tendulkar) wants to put him (Labuschagne) off. I don’t think so,” Waugh, the 1999 World Cup-winning captain, was quoted as saying in Hindustan Times.
“In my opinion, he has appetite for runs. When he came to the side 12 months ago, he was 26th but now he is fourth ranked Test player batsmen in the world, so it’s incredible transformation,” Waugh added. Labuschagne is currently ICC’s third ranked Test batsman with 827 rating points. Steve Smith and Virat Kohli are the top two with 911 and 928 points respectively.
Labuschagne was recently rewarded with his maiden ODI cap on the tour of India after he shone in the home Tests versus the Black Caps. Though he didn’t get a chance to bat in Mumbai, he turned up with scores of 46 and 54 in the remaining matches in Rajkot and Bengaluru. Amidst his international commitments, he also plied his trade for the Brisbane Heat in the 2019-20 edition of the BBL.