After a stunning home summer of Test cricket, Steve Smith has predicted Marnus Labuschagne is going to be a ‘huge player’ for Australia provided he’s able to keep a level head. Also Read - Virat Kohli Breaks MS Dhoni's Record With 10-Wicket Win Over England in Pink-Ball Test, Register His 22nd Test Win on Home Soil
Against Pakistan and New Zealand in four Tests, Labuschagne clattered 896 runs at 112 including four centuries which has seen him zoom to the third spot in the rankings eight behind top-ranked Virat Kohli and second-placed Smith. Also Read - ICC World Test Championship Points Table: India Zoom to Top Spot After Crushing Win, England Out of Race For Final
“That’s the real challenge for him now, having that amazing series, there’s going to be that expectation there now and it’s about managing that,” Smith told cricket.com.au. “The thing I like about Marnus is his willingness to learn and how quickly he picks things up, and if he continues to do that, he’s going to be a huge player for Australia for a long time.” Also Read - Ravichandran Ashwin Overtakes Anil Kumble to Become Fastest Indian Bowler to Pick 400 Test Wickets, Second Fastest Overall
For the 25-year-old Labuschagne, Smith’s advise for long-term success is to ‘rest the clock’ and not think about what he’s done in the past. “He’s got a good head on his shoulders, he’s got that belief in himself now that he can do it, now it’s about resetting the clock every time he goes out to play,” Smith said. “He’s got a really good understanding of how he wants to play and that’s a huge thing for a young player. To have that understanding and be able to stick to something for a prolonged period of time and trust it’s going to work, he’s found that method now and I have no doubt he’s going to get better.”
Both Smith and Labuschagne are currently in India as part of Australia’s ODI squad for a short three-match series beginning January 14 in Mumbai.