One of Australia’s consistent run-getters in the red-ball format, Marnus Labuschagne, is going through a minor slump in form as he has not scored a Test hundred since July 2023.
Labuschagne has gone 12 innings without a ton and has scored just three half-centuries since Australia’s last Ashes tour to England till now.
He managed scores of 10, 1*, 3, 5 during the two-match test series against West Indies at home and wasn’t able to deliver the goods expected of him when the team was in a precarious situation.
Commenting on Labuschagne’s dip in form, former Australia skipper Michael Clarke pointed out a technical snag that he feels might be ailing the No. three batter.
“The only thing I can see technically is that he just looks to be squaring up a little bit with his right shoulder,” Clarke told ESPN’s Around The Wicket show.
“So mainly the balls that are that back-of-a-length, instead of staying really side on like he does and back-foot defends the ball to cover or to point, or even drops it to his feet, he’s just squaring up a little bit. And that’s why he’s playing a little in front of himself, edging it to a second, third (slip), gully area”.
Clarke also backed Labuschagne to come good in the upcoming series against New Zealand and mentioned that “you can’t write Marnus off”.
“Again, he’s such a good player, he’ll go away now, he’ll work on that before New Zealand. You can’t write Marnus off. He’s batting at No. 3 which is one of the toughest positions in Test cricket. Don’t be surprised if he comes out against New Zealand and he’s the leading run-scorer. About every top-class batsman goes through a stage like this,” he added.
Former Australia international and South Australia cricketer, Callum Ferguson, also cautioned the Aussie batters to get a bit more side-on in terms of their batting stance before their trip to New Zealand.
“Don’t think Marnus is the only one getting caught out squaring up and that can be a bit of a result of batting on some wickets that are bowler-friendly,” Ferguson said.
“You just get a little bit out of shape, so they’re going to have to do some hard work before they get over to New Zealand to just get a bit more side on, a few of them, and start playing a touch later. Because over in New Zealand, they’ll be seaming, swinging conditions and New Zealand are very good at extracting the most out of those pitches.”