'Luckiest in history': Startling stat about Marnus Labuschagne

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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  • Marnus Labuschagne
    South African-born Australian cricketer
Marnus Labuschagne has rocketed to the top of the world Test rankings, but has benefited from an uncommon lucky streak on the way. (Photo by PATRICK HAMILTON/AFP /AFP via Getty Images)
Marnus Labuschagne has rocketed to the top of the world Test rankings, but has benefited from an uncommon lucky streak on the way. (Photo by PATRICK HAMILTON/AFP /AFP via Getty Images)

Marnus Labuschagne's rapid rise to the top of the world Test batting rankings may have been aided by a helping hand from lady luck.

Since making his Test debut against Pakistan in 2018, Labuschagne has done nothing but go from strength to strength, playing starring roles in the 2019 Ashes series in England and subsequent Tests on home soil.

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His rapid ascension into the elite of Test batting hasn't come without his fair share of good fortune though.

Speaking on the ABC Grandstand podcast, former Test opener Ed Cowan pointed out that Labuschagne had been dropped more times than he has been caught out.

In the 20 Tests he's played, Labuschagne has been caught 12 times and dropped a whopping 14 times.

"He has only played 20 Tests. He has only been caught 12 times," Cowan noted.

“He is the luckiest Test batsman there is in history so far statistically.

“Obviously he gets the runs. We are huge Marnus fans on this podcast.

“But he has been caught 12 times and dropped 14 times, which is just insane.

“And you make your own luck sure, but my word that is basically getting an extra hit every Test match.”

Labuschagne's heroics in Adelaide, where he scored 103 and 51 to help Australia take a 2-0 lead in the Ashes, saw him leapfrog England captain Root into top spot.

Labuschagne now averages a stunning 62.14 from 20 Tests, with his astronomical average second only to Don Bradman (99.94).

Australia vice-captain Steve Smith remains third in the Test batting rankings, while David Warner (sixth) and Travis Head (10th) are also among the elite category.

Marnus Labuschagne makes most of every chance in Test ascension

Labuschagne can next week become just the third Australian to score centuries in every mainland state in the first three summers of their Test career.

Fifteen Australians have achieved the full house, with only Mike Hussey and Smith having done so in such rapid time.

But such is Labuschagne's clear thirst for runs, a big score well beyond 100 is what he craves in a bid to bat England out of the Ashes.

"I want to score a hundred every game, but unfortunately it doesn't always work like that," Labuschagne said.

"Even though I scored some runs (in Adelaide) I was still disappointed that I didn't go on and make a really big score and really shut the game out.

"I had the opportunity ... especially after having been dropped and getting a chance off a no-ball.

"There's lots for me to learn (from Adelaide) and hopefully take it to Boxing Day and make sure that if I get to a 100 I make it a really big score."

Marnus Labuschagne has dominated the first two Ashes Tests, surpassing England captain Joe Root as the top ranked test batsman in the world. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Marnus Labuschagne has dominated the first two Ashes Tests, surpassing England captain Joe Root as the top ranked test batsman in the world. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Labuschagne expects to be the target of another bouncer barrage during the Boxing Day Test despite England's limited success with the tactic in Adelaide.

England's approach has remained at the forefront of the fallout from their second-Test loss, with Root under fire for admitting his attack bowled too short and didn't change plans.

Beyond the back-of-a-length attack, England appeared to enter Adelaide with a pre-conceived plan to go short with fielders back on the pull and hook shot for Ben Stokes' bowling in particular.

The fact they did that with quick Mark Wood rested has also raised eyebrows, given he is the only man in England's attack able to bowl at above 145km/h.

England's only real threat with the tactic came against Labuschagne, who gloved a short ball down legside trying to pull Stokes but was dropped by Jos Buttler.

With AAP

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