Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne of Australia during day two of the second Test Match between Australia and Pakistan at Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, Saturday, November 30, 2019. (AAP Image/David Mariuz) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, IMAGES TO BE USED FOR NEWS REPORTING PURPOSES ONLY, NO COMMERCIAL USE WHATSOEVER, NO USE IN BOOKS WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT FROM AAP
Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne of Australia during day two of the second Test Match between Australia and Pakistan at Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, Saturday, November 30, 2019. (AAP Image/David Mariuz) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, IMAGES TO BE USED FOR NEWS REPORTING PURPOSES ONLY, NO COMMERCIAL USE WHATSOEVER, NO USE IN BOOKS WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT FROM AAP

Mr Cricket ready to pass baton to Marnus

Mike Hussey suspects Marnus Labuschagne will become Mr Cricket 2.0 after an incredible run spree that has won glowing endorsement from those in the know.

Hussey earned the Mr Cricket tag for living and breathing the game while averaging 51 over 79 Tests having collected his baggy green at 30.

An insatiable work ethic, thirst for runs and singular cricket obsession distinguished Hussey and now Labuschagne after consecutive tons against Pakistan in Brisbane and Adelaide.

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"He sounds like he loves every bit of it, loves training, loves batting in the middle, loves the dressing-room," said Hussey when asked if Labuschagne could emulate his passion for the game.

Labuschagne used the crease to upset the line and rhythm of Pakistan's attack in Adelaide.

The South African-born batsman's average has risen to 53 built on discipline, understanding limitations and remarkable concentration that saw no false shots until bowled for 162 by a Shaheen Afridi Jaffa in day two.

Labuschagne (829) leads Steve Smith (814) for the most Test runs this year.

Much has been made of Labuschagne's bromance with Smith but Australia's batting revelation is winning a legion of followers in his own right.

"You love to see that, a great role model to watch and emulate, get out there and be immersed in everything," Hussey said.

"He batted nicely."

Australia has emerged from the Ashes with a settled batting line-up that has chewed up Pakistan and relishes combat with in-form New Zealand.

Labuschagne and David Warner batted Pakistan out of the match in a monster partnership.
Labuschagne and David Warner batted Pakistan out of the match in a monster partnership.

"There were a few question marks coming into the summer but it seems like they have a bunch of really good of guys and characters," said Fox Cricket expert Hussey after Labuschagne posting a record day-night stand of 361 with David Warner in Adelaide.

"Let's hope the selectors stick with them, back them and let them evolve as team."

Hussey was a ready-made Test product hardened by a decade of first-class run scoring.

There was little to suggest Labuschagne's rise to dominant Test No.3.

The Queenslander averaged 26 over five Tests before called up as a concussion replacement for Smith at Lord's.

Ryan Harris presided over Labuschagne's emergence through the Queensland and Australian development system.

The 25-year-old's secret is wanting it more than anyone else which showed in averaging 50 against England.

"He wants to be a Test cricketer, wants it bad and will do everything he can to get it and stay there. He loves the pressure, excelling. We had him through the national performance squad He wants so much and has got results," former Test spearhead Harris said.

 

Michael Hussey is ready to anoint the modern-day version of Mr Cricket.
Michael Hussey is ready to anoint the modern-day version of Mr Cricket.

Those who prosper at Test level learn fast and forensically dissect weaknesses. Harris noted Labuschagne became Australia's No.3 by correcting a tendency to fall across his stumps and play the ball later during a pre-Ashes County stint with Matthew Maynard's Glamorgan.

"I walked into the MCC (Lord's) on the Ashes tour and he was in there by himself with a bowling machine. He had a couple of technical tweaks and great to see someone who has worked so hard to get results," recalled Harris.

"He wants to know about the game, is hanging out with Steve Smith and the coach."

News Corp Australia

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