‘Hopefully he’s back on track’ – Labuschagne is working on a technical glitch

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By Webdesk


The dismissals of Marnus Labuschagne at Edgbaston were something the Australian coaching staff had not seen before, but there is confidence he can respond in the second Test at Lord’s.

Labuschagne moved into the rear against Stuart Broad and played on deliveries he could have left, with his golden duck in the first innings coming off a particularly wide ball as Broad found success with the new outswinger he said he had made especially for Labuschagne and Steven Smith had worked.

In probably the tour’s least surprising news, both Labuschagne and Smith – the latter also had a meager opening test – took part in a Saturday internet session organized only for those not playing in Edgbaston. Head coach Andrew McDonald called it a “tasty thought” that Australia had won by just 35 runs between their top two hitters.

Labuschagne was again much quieter in the crease with only minimal triggering compared to the more exaggerated movement seen in the first Test during a long session against throwdowns from the Australian coaches.

“It was back to normal,” said hitting coach Michael Di Venuto. “I hadn’t seen what happened in the first test, I hadn’t seen that. And it certainly didn’t happen the week before at The Oval. Whatever it was, hopefully it was short lived and he can get this back to normal. ” week.”

Asked if Edgbaston’s frenzied atmosphere may have played a role, Di Venuto added: “Potentially. Marn is the only one who can answer that. He has a few other reasons why he thinks he played the ball, one of which he thinks he did.” refurbished. As we saw today, hopefully he’s back on track.”

However, he said Labuschagne’s work in the nets was not specific to Broad. He added that any crafting done is initiated by Labuschagne in consultation with his batting coach Neil D’Costa, who shares input with the Australian staff.

“Marnus is always working on his game,” he said. “You’ve all seen him train, he’s meticulous in his preparation. He’s technically always fiddling with different things. That’s all pretty normal for Marn.”

“Marn is his best coach. Same as Smudge [Smith]. They are their own best coaches. They’re great problem solvers and that’s why they’ve been such great players for Australia for a while.”

Labuschagne suffered a painful blow to the index finger of his right hand on Saturday as he faced throwdowns. He remained on the ground for some time before removing his glove and being checked by team doctor Leigh Golding, but was able to resume and complete the session.

“He’s got a finger that took a few blows. I think he just took another one,” said di Venuto.

The second Test at Lord’s will return Labuschagne to the venue where his career took off in 2019 after coming in as Smith’s concussion. He has been prolific ever since, scoring 10 Test centuries at averages sometimes surpassing 60, although he is currently in a relatively lean spell with two half-centuries and an average of 33.14 in his last 17 innings.

Whether the dismissals to Broad are the start of a pattern for the series only time will tell, but di Venuto saw it as the challenges Test cricket can present.

“He’s a good bowler, and he’s been for a long time,” he said. “You expect bowlers to come up with plans and come up with different tactics than in the past. It’s no different to other series at the moment.”

Meanwhile, the coaching staff have been encouraged by what they have seen from David Warner in the World Test Championship final against India and the first Ashes meeting, although he has not been converted in a substantial score.

Warner made 43 in the first innings against India and then 36 in the second innings at Edgbaston as part of an opening stand of 61 that gave Australia a base in their chase of 281. However, in both innings he was cleared from around the wicket – first by Broad, for the 15th time overall in Test cricket, then by Ollie Robinson.

“He’s a little bit more back into the Davey that we know,” said di Venuto. “Going into the ball, a lot of energy in the crease, looking to attack. There are really good signs he may have success just around the corner.”

There was a new member of the squad training this weekend with Queensland wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson who had arrived to replace Josh Inglis who has been flown home for the birth of his child.

Andrew McGlashan is deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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