Marnus Labuschagne backs Justin Langer, enters IPL auction
A Set small text size A Set the default text size A Set large text size Marnus Labuschagne says Australia’s Test squad must support each other and unite when they next link up, adding that he loves under-fire coach Justin Langer. The star batsman is also hoping that an Indian Premier League call-up will help […]

A Set small text size A Set the default text size A Set large text size Marnus Labuschagne says Australia’s Test squad must support each other and unite when they next link up, adding that he loves under-fire coach Justin Langer. The star batsman is also hoping that an Indian Premier League call-up will help him fill a long gap between Tests. Labuschagne featured prominently in recent reports about Langer’s intense approach amid suggestions that several members of the national team were unhappy. There was no indication that Labuschagne, ranked third on the International Cricket Council’s Test batting charts, was among the disgruntled players. But an incident during the Test series decider at the Gabba, where Langer rebuked Labuschagne for trying to take a toasted sandwich onto the field, was highlighted as an example of the coach being on edge. “I love JL. I love what he brings to the team,” Labuschange said. “There’s always more pressure when you’re not winning games. “We have to make sure we’re really focused when we come back as a Test squad…stay really close to each other as a group and a coaching staff. “That we keep supporting each other…that will help unite us and front up as the best possible Test team.” The postponement of a tour of South Africa means that Australia’s next Test might not come until the start of the next home summer, when they host England. Langer’s team will miss this year’s world Test championship final, unless results go their way during the India-England series. “Very disappointing to not be playing Test cricket for so long,” Labuschagne said. “I hope (there is potential to play sooner). If not, you need to make sure you get yourself ready for the Ashes. There’s no bigger series to get up for.” Labuschagne, whose Big Bash League stint ended when Perth Scorchers defeated Brisbane Heat on Thursday night, revealed he will enter the upcoming IPL auction. The gifted right-hander also has a contract with English side Glamorgan that runs until the end of the 2022 season. “The IPL is a great competition and personally I’d love to be part of it,” Labuschagne said. “Throw your name in the hat and see what happens. “I’ve still got my Glamorgan deal. Have to work through that now there is no South Africa tour – see what the possibilities are, what the safety concerns with England are.” Labuschagne, who has spent much of the past six months in biosecurity bubbles of varying severity, plans on having a week off before linking up with Queensland’s squad. “But it (usually) gets to three days and I want a hit,” he said. The latest version of the rejigged Sheffield Shield schedule has Queensland’s season resuming in Tasmania on February 17. Labuschagne is not expected to be catapulted into state captaincy, ahead of Usman Khawaja, despite a push from Cricket Australia as it searches for Test captain Tim Paine’s likely successor. “I just try to be the best leader I can be,” he said. “If I can do that and it does develop into a formal leadership role, then so be it. “But for me it’s just about making sure I can help the team out as much as I can and be a leader.” © AAP
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