Australia’s limited-overs captain Aaron Finch has thrown his weight behind Marnus Labuschagne’s potential, and the possibility of the 25-year-old carrying forward his domestic form into the upcoming ODI tour of India, starting January 14.
Labuschagne has hardly put a foot wrong since coming on as a concussion substitute – the first-ever one in Tests – for Steven Smith in the Ashes Test at Lord’s. He’s played eight Tests since then, scoring 1190 runs at an average of 85.00, and finished 2019 at the top of the batting charts in the longest format.
Labuschagne has not just been among the runs for Australia in whites. He’s also put stellar performances for Queensland in the Marsh Cup, which he finished as the Joint Player of the Tournament – with teammate Usman Khawaja.
While Labuschagne has made it to the limited-overs squad for the first time on the back of incredible performances in Tests as well as the domestic circuit, Australia chose to leave out Glenn Maxwell from the tour even as the all-rounder made himself available after taking a mental health-related break towards the end of last year.
Since his six-week hiatus, Maxwell has made a strong return, leading his BBL side Melbourne Stars to the top of the points table after seven league games. Finch talked up Maxwell’s most recent performance – a match-winning 59* off 37 against Sydney Thunder – to suggest that the all-rounder’s ODI future is not up in the air as yet.
Maxwell’s return has not just coincided with a flying start, form-wise, but also in a big payday at the IPL auction. Good form in the next couple of IPLs can still earn him back a place in the ODI side considering the next 50-over World Cup will be held in India. Though the door is left ajar for the all-rounder to try and break back in, Finch reckoned it will be down to being ‘at the right place, at the right time’.