Marnus Labsuchagne added to Australia’s Test squad for SCG Test, putting pressure on Mitchell Marsh
Marnus Labuschagne’s selection could put pressure on Mitchell Marsh for the all-rounder Test slot. (AAP: Dave Hunt)
The first reshufflings of Australia’s men’s Test team have begun in earnest, with Marnus Labuschagne added to the squad for the final Test against India in Sydney.
- Marnus Labuschagne has played two Tests for Australia, averaging 20.25 with the bat and 22.42 with the ball
- His addition to the squad could put pressure on Mitchell Marsh for the all-rounder’s slot
- Australia needs to win the Sydney Test on January 3 to level the series against India
Test captain Tim Paine confirmed the news in his post-match press conference, following Australia’s 137-run loss to India at the MCG.
“Marnus has been added to the squad, so he’ll come with us to Sydney, and we’ll get up to Sydney, have a look at the conditions, we think from what we’re hearing it will probably spin quite a bit,” Paine said.
“Once we see that for ourselves, we’ll try and think about the best combination to win that Test.
“That’s the goal for us is to win the Test and draw the series.”
Labuschagne made his debut in Australia’s tour of the UAE against Pakistan in October, but failed to make the Test squad for the first three Tests against India.
With a view to the two-Test series against Sri Lanka starting in late January, and perhaps the Ashes later in the year, Labuschagne could return to the Test XI if conditions at the SCG are conducive to another spinner.
The South African-born Labuschagne, who emigrated to Australia in 2004 when he was 10, made scores of 0, 13, 25 and 43 in the two Tests against Pakistan, averaging 20.25.
More pertinently for the traditionally spin-friendly SCG deck, he took seven wickets in the series — which Pakistan won 1-0 — with his leggies at an average of 22.42.
His addition to the squad could put pressure on Mitchell Marsh’s position for the all-rounder slot, with the paceman failing to take a wicket and notching scores of 9 and 10 in the MCG Test, his sole appearance in the series against India.