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Ashes player profiles: Marnus Labuschagne

Marnus Labuschagne made a hugely impressive Ashes debut in England in 2019 and he returns for the 2023 series as one of Australia's key batsmen.

Labuschagne helped his side beat India in last week's World Test Championship final at The Oval and Australia are 10/11 to follow up with an Ashes series victory against 13/8 hosts England.

NameMarnus Labuschagne
PositionRight-handed batsman and leg-spin bowler
TeamsAustralia, Queensland and Glamorgan
Test Appearances38
Test runs3461
Test wickets13

Marnus Labuschagne background

Marnus Labuschagne was born in Klerksdorp in South Africa but moved to Australia at the age of 10 and earned a Sheffield Shield debut for Queensland in 2014.

His performances in the 2017/18 Shield caught the eye of the Australia selectors. He finished the season as the second-highest runscorer in the competition with 795, just nine runs behind teammate Matt Renshaw, as Queensland beat Tasmania in the final in Brisbane.

In October 2018 Labuschagne made his Test debut against Pakistan in Dubai, scoring nought and 13, but his breakthrough series came in the Ashes the following year.

After a prolific 2019 County Championship spell for Glamorgan, racking up 1,114 runs in 10 appearances, he made Australia's squad and was called into action as the first concussion substitute in Test history when Steve Smith was struck by a Jofra Archer bouncer in the second game at Lord's.

Marnus Labuschagne career achievements

Replacing star batsman Smith must have been a daunting prospect but Labuschagne made a terrific start to his Ashes career, scoring 59, 74, 80 and 67 in his first four innings against England in 2019.

A fifth half-century narrowly eluded him in the final Test at The Oval, where he was dismissed for 48 in the first innings, but he took his game to a whole new level during the Australian summer of 2019/20.

In eight Test innings in the Aussies' home series against Pakistan and New Zealand, Labuschagne scored 185, 162, 143, 50, 63, 19, 215 and 59, cementing his place at number three in the batting order.

He finished the 2020/21 series against India with scores of 91, 73, 108 and 25 in the last two matches and made his first Ashes century in Adelaide in December 2021, taking home the player-of-the-match award for his gritty knocks of 103 and 51.

That effort took Labuschagne to the top of the ICC's Test batting rankings and he enhanced his superb record at home in last year's two-Test series against the West Indies, scoring 204 and 104 not out in Perth and 163 and 31 in Adelaide.

Marnus Labuschagne playing style

As he showed on his Ashes debut against a fired-up Jofra Archer at Lord's, Labuschagne has all the courage, concentration and defensive technique required to be a top Test batsman.

Like Smith, he can be a fidgety presence at the crease, unnerving opposition bowlers. In general, though, he is an orthodox, traditional Test player who has made only one Twenty20 appearance for Australia.

Labuschagne's 103 against England in Adelaide came from 305 balls but he can be more expansive depending on the match situation. He took seven wickets in his first two Tests against Pakistan but has struck just six times in 36 subsequent outings as his batting has taken priority over his leg-spin bowling.   

Marnus Labuschagne playing records

Labuschagne has posted some impressive stats in the first five years of his Test career and last year he became only the eighth player to score a double-century and a century in the same match, with his 204 and 104 not out against the Windies.

Later in that series he reached 3,000 Test runs in just 51 innings – only the great Don Bradman got to that landmark faster.

Labuschagne starts the 2023 Ashes with a Test average of 56.73, the 15th-highest of any player who has batted at least 20 times in the format. Ominously for England, one of the batsmen above him in that list is his Australia teammate Smith, who averages 60.04 after 97 Tests. 

Marnus Labuschagne Ashes odds

Labuschagne is 11/2 to be the Top Batter from either team in the 2023 Ashes with Steve Smith 5/2 and England's Joe Root 10/3.

He outscored Smith by 335 runs to 244 in the 2021/22 Ashes series in Australia and is 6/5 to repeat that feat against his 4/6 teammate in the Batter Matches (Most Runs) market.

After making four half-centuries and a 48 in seven innings in England in 2019, Labuschagne is 6/5 to score a first-innings fifty in the first Test which starts at Edgbaston on Friday.

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