‘Welcome to my First 35 Tests, That was me’: Mitchell Marsh Shares Special Message to Struggling Marnus Labuschagne

Marnus Labuschagne. (Image: AFP)

Marnus Labuschagne. (Image: AFP)

Mitchell Marsh sent an encouraging message to his teammate Marnus Labuschagne, who has been in poor form in Test cricket over the last 15 months.

Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has sent an encouraging message to his teammate Marnus Labuschagne, who has been experiencing a dramatic decline in form in Test cricket over the last 15 months.

Marsh used the trajectory of his career as an example to cheer his fellow Australian teammate. When Marsh burst onto the scene after making waves as a tremendous U19 prospect, he could not consolidate his position within the playing XI.

His fortunes have turned around in the past two years, becoming an integral part for Australia in all three formats owing to his transcendental batting displays and effective bowling as the fifth or sixth option. Recently, he was named the captain of the T20I side for the series against New Zealand, which preceded the ongoing New Zealand vs Australia Test series.

Speaking on SEN WA Breakfast, Mitchell Marsh cited his example and backed Marnus Labuschagne to rediscover his form. “I said to him, ‘Welcome to my first 35 Tests mate, that was me. No, look, he’s been an incredible player for us, and he will be for a long time to come. I think the good thing about our team is that we’ve always found a way to keep winning. You know, guys’ form goes up and down, but he’s an incredible player. He’s an integral part of our team and there’s no doubt he’ll be in the runs soon,” Marsh said.

Marnus Labuschagne started his Test career with a bang, rising to the top of the Test rankings after scoring hundreds against Pakistan and New Zealand. From October 2018, when he made his debut, till the end of 2022, the 29-year-old batter from Queensland had scored close to 3000 runs in Tests, averaging just a fraction less than 60.

The mercurial Aussie hasn’t tasted the same success since the beginning of 2023, though, notching up just one hundred in 17 Tests. For a player who had scored 10 centuries in the first four years of his Test career, his performances in the last 15 months just haven’t been the same. Marnus Labuschagne has managed to score only 947 runs at an average of 32.65, looking a pale shadow of himself.

In the past three months, Australia has played three Tests: two against the West Indies at home and one against New Zealand in New Zealand. Across six innings, Marnus Labuschagne has scored a shocking 22 runs, crossing the double-digit figure just once. Once averaging over 60 and drawing comparisons to all-time batting greats, Labuschagne’s average has alarmingly dropped below 50.

The batter certainly seems to be struggling with confidence. However, Marnus Labuschagne will be keen to silence his naysayers in the next Test against New Zealand which begins on Friday, March 8, in Christchurch. More importantly, though, it’s a battle with himself that he will be hoping to conquer.

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