Labuschagne ended 2019 by becoming the highest run-getter in the longest format after scoring 1104 at an economy of 64.94 runs.
Mumbai: It was August 18, 2019, when Australian batsman Steve Smith was hit by a deadly bouncer off England’s pacer Jofra Archer in the second innings. After Smith suffered a concussion, the Australian team immediately replaced him with South Africa born Marnus Labuschagne on the fifth day of the second Ashes Test match.
Following the substitution, Labuschagne became the first concussion substitute player in a Test match after a change in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) regulations.
During that match, the right-handed player scored a vital 59, which helped the Aussies to salvage a draw. After Labuschagne’s 59, the selectors and team management decided to include him in the dramatic third Test, which England won by one wicket.
However, during the first and second innings, the 25-year-old batsman scored 74 and 80 respectively. Despite his valiant knocks, the Australian side went on to lose the game.
After performing brilliantly in the second and third game, the all-rounder sealed his place in the playing XI. Since becoming a regular member of the Australian squad, Labuschagne continued to show his class by smashing yet another 67 in the fourth Test, along with Steve Smith, who hit a match winning 211.
The duo took the game away from the England and won the match for the Kangaroos to help them retain the Ashes Urn. While in fifth and final Test, the right-handed leg spinner amassed 48 and 14 in the first and second innings respectively.
Since becoming the first-ever anti-concussion substitute player, Marnus Labuschagne’s journey has been nothing short of phenomenal. Since his extraordinary knocks in the Ashes series, the Australian cricketer amassed 1185 runs in 13 matches, including a top knock of 185 against Pakistan.
During the 2019 Ashes series, the player garnered 353 runs, thus becoming the fourth highest run-scorer, with his teammate, Steve Smith leading the list with 774 runs.
Meanwhile, during the home 2019 Test series against Pakistan, the cricketer amassed 347 runs, including two best knocks of 185 and 167.
While in the year-ending series versus New Zealand, the Australian amassed 275, including a match winning knock of 143.
After that knock, Labuschagne ended 2019 by becoming the highest run-getter in the longest format after scoring 1104 at an economy of 64.94 runs. In the process, he also surpassed Test format specialist, Steve Smith who amassed 965 runs in 2019.
The player also has the ability to cheap in with crucial wickets as he is also a part-time leg spinner. Having said all of these, it can be said that Australia found a gem inside Marnus Labuschagne.
Nevertheless, it should also be noted that Labuschagne made his debut in 2018, during that year he played many matches, but he failed to make any impact in those matches.
Ever since he replaced Steve Smith, Labuschagne has been nothing short of extraordinary. With this it can be said that Marnus Labuschagne will be a name, which the cricket fans will remember forever.