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Curious case of Marnus Labuschagne: Average of 62.2 vs spin but below par average of 33.33 in Asia

Marnus Labuschagne averages 62.2 against spin but below par average of 33.33 in Asia. A complete analysis of Marnus Labushagne's Test career ahead of Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23.

Marnus Labuschagne averages 62.2 against spin but below par average of 33.33 in Asia.  _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©wescrihmer_Twitter)
Labuschagne would be travelling first time to India (Images: ©wescrihmer/Twitter)

The fifth-highest run-scorer in World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 cycle and Australia’s second-highest run-scorer in the same period is Marnus Labuschagne. The South Africa-born, Australian youngster has turned the world upside down with his innovative leaves outside off-stump, his hunger for runs and the enthusiasm he carries with himself. In WTC 2021–2023, Labuschagne played 25 innings and scored 1265 runs at an average of 57.50, with 4 fifties and 5 hundreds.


Marnus’s batting career in terms of numbers

The Australia batter has not been tested much on the muddy, dusty and turning pitches of the sub-continent. So far, Labuschagne has played 33 Test matches, comprising 56 innings, of which he has played 37 (66.07 per cent) in Australian (home) conditions.


Aside from Australia and England, Marnus has never averaged more than 50 in his career, despite a career average of 59.43. In terms of centuries, only one of the ten he has scored has come outside his home country, in Sri Lanka.


On Australia’s recent tour of Pakistan, Marnus was supposed to be one of the biggest threats to the Pakistan bowlers. However, the threat was diluted by the alien pitches of Pakistan, where the number 1 ranked Test batter could only score 170 runs in five innings at an average of 34. In fact, he has mustered just 400 runs in 12 innings in Asia at a below par average of 33.33, with a solitary hundred.


So, by any stretch of the imagination, if anyone wants to connect the dots, Marnus specifically falls into the same league of home-track bullies that the Australian and English media have labelled many sub-continent legends.

Matches played in

Matches

Innings

Runs

Batting Ave

100s/50s

HS

SR

Australia

22

37

2397

70.5

9/9

215

55.78

England

4

7

353

50.43

0/4

80

51.01

Pakistan

3

5

170

34

0/1

90

61.59

Sri Lanka

2

3

149

49.67

1/0

104

63.68

UAE

2

4

81

20.25

0/0

43

52.94

Overall

33

56

3150

59.43

10/14

215

55.73


Impressive numbers against spinners

Versus Player Type

Innings

Runs

Balls Faced

Dismissals

Bat Ave

SR

Dot Percentage

Left-arm Chinaman

1

12

21

0

-

57.1

76.2

Left-arm Orthodox

24

358

516

9

39.8

69.4

64.5

Right-arm legbreak

9

208

297

4

52

70

58.2

Right-arm offbreak

31

604

842

6

100.7

71.7

55.7

Total

44

1,182

1,676

19

62.2

70.5

59.1

The stylish right-hander averages 62.2 against spinners vis a vis a career average of 59.43 against all bowler types. Spinners have dismissed Marnus on 19 (35.84 pc) of the 53 times he has been dismissed in his career.


Though Labuschagne has not faced a lot of deliveries against spinners compared to fast bowlers, this is where his waters will be tested on Indian pitches, where most of the overs will be bowled by India’s spin trio. While the series will test a lot of batters, it will be very interesting to see how a modern-day prolific run-scorer like Labuschagne counters them and finds a way to score runs on dry, turning pitches.


Marnus Labuschagne averages 62.2 against spin but below par average of 33.33 in Asia.  _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©wescrihmer_Twitter)
Marnus Labuschagne averages 59.43 from 33 Test matches (Images: ©wescrihmer/Twitter)

Marnus versus India: A threat to be worried about or just another brick in the wall?

In the matches played in Australia, the right-hander was also sensational against India. When it comes to scoring runs against India, Marnus Labuschagne has already made his mark, scoring 464 runs at an average of 51.55 with one hundred.


Analysing Labuschagne's numbers against the Indian bowlers, Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammad Siraj have been the two most prolific bowlers for India. Marnus has never been dismissed in the 162 balls that Jasprit Bumrah has bowled to him. Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami have bowled the least number of deliveries to Marnus, with 50 and 69 deliveries, respectively, and both have dismissed the Australian number three once each.


The most successful Indian bowlers against Marnus have been Ashwin and Siraj. Ashwin has dismissed him twice in the 184 balls bowled to him, while on the other hand, Siraj has dismissed Labuschagne on two occasions in 172 balls.

Bowler

Runs

Balls

Outs

Bat Ave

SR

Jasprit Bumrah

49

162

0

30.2

-

Ravichandran Ashwin

99

184

2

53.8

49.5

Ravindra Jadeja

30

50

1

60

30

Mohammed Siraj

86

172

2

50

43

Mohammed Shami

32

69

1

46.4

32

The first Test of the four-match Test series will begin from February 9 at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium in Nagpur. The second Test will be played in Delhi from February 17-21. In more than a week’s time, the third Test will be played in Dharamsala from March 1-5, followed by the fourth Test in Ahmedabad from March 9-13.


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