For Sri Lanka’s success, Marnus Labuschagne looks to Joe Root’s Methods

If his schedule permits, he wants to return to Glamorgan for another pre-Ashes stint.

As he prepares for what he expects to be his toughest challenge yet against spin in Sri Lanka, Marnus Labuschagne will be looking to copy Joe Root’s playbook.

Labuschagne finished his latest county stint with Glamorgan on Sunday in an abandoned T20 match against Surrey, but not before taking 2 for 27 from four overs ahead of a tour where Aaron Finch and Pat Cummins could use his legspin more frequently.

However, he will have the best chance to define games with the bat, particularly in the two Tests in Galle that will conclude the tour.

Joe Root
Joe Root

In early 2021, Root had a fantastic Test series in Sri Lanka, scoring 228 and 186 in the first innings in Galle, following a century in Pallekele the previous tour.

Labuschagne’s Test career began in the UAE in 2018, but the recent series in Pakistan was his only other experience in Asia. In those three games, the home side’s spinners underwhelmed, with Labuschagne scoring 90 in Rawalpindi before collecting first-innings ducks in the next two.

“It’s my first real subcontinent challenge against spin,” Labuschagne told BBC Sport Wales. “Joe Root played fantastically over there, and I learned a lot from how he approached his game.”

“As a team, we want to be the best in the world, regardless of where we go; we want to win games, and I believe we can do that in Sri Lanka.” I’ll have to get used to the heat and sweating it out, which we haven’t had in the last few games [in the United Kingdom].”

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Despite the fact that Labuschagne is returning to Australia at the start of a busy period of national duty, he is looking forward to another pre-Ashes stint with Glamorgan next year.

Marnus Labuschagne
Marnus Labuschagne

Labuschagne’s schedule is not as packed as some of Australia’s three-format players’ because he is not yet a regular in the T20I side, but with 11 Tests and a lot of ODI cricket scheduled up until next March, he is aware that he may need to manage his workload, especially since his wife Rebekah is expecting their first child later this year.

He has often credited his time with Glamorgan in 2019 as a key reason for his immediate success when he was thrown into the side as Steven Smith’s concussion replacement at Lord’s.

“There are a lot of things in the mix,” he said, “but I don’t see anything wrong with trying to replicate my last Ashes performance here and playing some county cricket with Glamorgan [going] into the Ashes next summer.”

“That’s our plan,” he says, “but we’ve got a lot of cricket this year, around 16 Tests and 18 one-day games, so we’ll have to make sure I’m in good shape and get some time at home with my wife and child.”

Read Also: Former Australia captain says Root can break Tendulkar’s Test Record

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