Marnus Labuschagne willing to step up for Australia against India

Adelaide: Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne, who bats at No. 3, says he is ready to open in the interest of his national team who are facing a dearth of opening options following a groin injury to David Warner and a concussion scare to Will Pucovski. Both Warner and Pucovski have been ruled out of the first Test at Adelaide with the selectors bringing in left-hander Marcus Harris as replacement. There are also concerns over Joe Burns, the other opener, who is enduring poor form.

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“Look, whatever the team needs I think that is our job to do as cricketers. It is about making sure that we do what is best for the team. If the team needs me to open, then that is what I’ll do. But we’ll just have to wait and see how things pan out with the few other moving parts currently. Like I said it is a team sport and it is about winning games and if it (him opening) is the best way to win games, that is what we’ll do,” said Labuschagne.

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Labuschagne said that he is preparing to bat at practice sessions and is not worried if he opens or bats at three.

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“I think that (my opening position in Test match) will be communicated if that is the option we are going to go down with. For me, I am just preparing to bat if that is at one or three, it doesn’t matter for me. I am just making sure I am ready to face the ball no matter what the circumstances are,” the batsman added.

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Opener Burns is going through a poor patch, having scored four, zero and zero in the three innings of the two warm-up games against the touring Indians. Burns has not even crossed 30 in his last nine innings and has just one century and one fifty in 14 first-class innings, including Sheffield Shield matches, this season.

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Labuschagne is hoping that Burns scores in the second innings of the ongoing second warm-up tie.

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“Spoke to Joe a couple of nights ago. He is going all right. We all have been there where you want the runs badly. (But) a few innings aren’t a judgement on a player’s ability and how he is going. I have got full faith in Joe that if he is selected, he will be right to go. He is a man for big moments and getting in the contest. I hope he gets runs in second innings and quietens everyone down. Like I said he is a very good player,” said Labuschagne.

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