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Sports


Labuschagne credits Glamorgan stint for golden Ashes form

Labuschagne credits Glamorgan stint for golden Ashes form

Headingley, Aug 25 (UNI) After making his third consecutive fifty-plus score

since slotting into the XI as a concussion replacement for Steve Smith,

Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne put his purple patch at the Ashes

series down to his County stint with Glamorgan.

Before making the Ashes squad, the Australia No.4 had had a bounty

English summer with the County, amassing 1,114 runs, at an average of

65.52, with five centuries and as many fifties in ten matches, in the second

division of the Championship.

It was an experience that prepared him for the hard life of an Ashes batsman

in the country, underpinned by constant awareness and oodles of patience

when things don’t go your way.

"Playing for Glamorgan helped a lot," Labuschagne said, after his

second-innings 80 gave Australia 358 runs to defend and retain the urn

at Headingley. "Obviously, playing 10 first-class games in probably less

than two months, maybe a bit more, was very helpful. Playing against

the swinging ball in different conditions, and just learning my game and

learning to put big runs on the board definitely helped me and built my

confidence."

“Then transitioning to this, I think I didn't play many other formats leading

up to this, so my focus was really on red-ball cricket. So the lead-up and

preparation was really good," he said.

"Especially in Test cricket, you go through… I think Wadey (Matthew Wade)

and I went through a period yesterday, when we were like, 'let's get to a

50-run partnership', and it took us about 15 overs to get another five runs. In

Test cricket, it can come in patches, and when they're bowling well, you've

just got to trust the process and trust the runs will come. They will get tired

and it will open up," Labuschagne said.

Before this series, Labuschagne had had a lukewarm start to his Test career.

He had one fifty in eight innings, and in his last Test before the Ashes, he had

been dismissed for 6 and 4 against Sri Lanka in Canberra, an ICC report said.

That was interspersed by a middling Sheffield Shield season, where nine

matches for Queensland yielded 416 runs at 24.47, with just three fifties in 17

innings.

Labuschagne said that coming over to England for the Glamorgan stint was

helpful as the change in scenery, as well as the relentless grind of the English

domestic season helped him regain his mojo.

"The change in environment freshens you up," he said. "Over here, you play

a lot of games. When you've struck a run of form and are playing back to back

to back games, you can build a lot of momentum. I was lucky enough to find

that momentum and be able to keep that rhythm going with my batting through

the whole season at Glamorgan."

“Every kid dreams of playing in the Ashes. Your mindset back then, you want

to play, but it became more of a reality towards the back end of the county

season. I wasn't scoring runs. But it happens quickly. Cricket works that way.

One minute you're not playing, another minute you are playing. You just have to

make sure you're ready, keep trusting your processes, and keep working hard,"

Labuschagne added.

UNI XC-BM

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