Test match specialist Marnus Labuschagne to play ODI World Cup as Australia finalizes squad
Ashton Agar has been ruled out of the tournament after picking up an injury. The selectors called in Marnus Labuschagne as Agar's replacement.
Marnus Labuschagne (Image via ESPNcricinfo)
Australia finalized their ODI World Cup squad by making two changes to it. Travis Head is all set to miss the first half of the tournament due to his injury, while Ashton Agar has been ruled out of the tournament after picking up an injury. The selectors called in Marnus Labuschagne as Agar’s replacement.
Labuschagne was not a part of the original 15-member squad at first. However, he kept displaying his prowess to force the selectors into thinking. The opportunity arrived for Labuschagne after Agar’s injury.
“There has been one change to the original preliminary squad of 15 announced a month ago with Marnus replacing Ashton,” chair of selectors George Bailey said in a statement (via ESPNcricinfo). “This was a tough call but unfortunately, we couldn’t carry both Travis and Ashton into the tournament with the injuries they have.”
Marnus Labuschagne roared in ODIs after World Cup squad announcement
Marnus Labuschagne is an interesting case when it comes to his replacing a player. In a Test match during the 2019 Ashes, he came as a concussion substitution for an injured Steve Smith, then quickly established himself as an indispensable part of the playing XI in the longest format. He became the first-ever concussion substitute in Test cricket.
The same thing happened during the ODI series against South Africa. He was called in as a concussion substitute for Cameron Green who got hit by a bouncer off Kagiso Rabada.
The decision proved the right one as Labuschagne scored an unbeaten 80 in the first ODI. He then helped the side to their second victory by 123 runs with his 124 runs off 99 balls in the second ODI. Then in the fifth ODI, he scored 44 runs from 63 balls. Against India in the three-match ODI series, Labuschagne scored 39, 27, and 72 runs in the three ODIs.
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