Marnus Labuschagne hits back at critics as Pat Cummins unleashes in epic Test act

The No.3 has been under immense pressure leading into the second Test against New Zealand.

Marnus Labuschagne has gone some way to silencing his doubters after exiting the crease on 90 runs on day three of the Test against New Zealand as Pat Cummins took it to the home side. Labuschagne has been under immense pressure of late to score some runs after a lean run of form.

The No.3 has seen his cricket average drop below 50 in recent months with his last five scores before the second Test reading: 10, one not out, three, five, one and two. Labuschagne had only made one century in his last 37 Test innings, and only passed 50 on six occasions during that time.

Marnus Labuschagne and Pat Cummins.
Marnus Labuschagne (pictured left) silenced some critics with a superb 90, while Pat Cummins blasted 23 off 22 balls. (Getty Images)

However, the 29-year-old went some way in silencing his critics on Saturday having followed up his half-century to reach 90 in the morning session. However, on the final over before lunch, Labuschagne was dismissed after a diving catch from Glen Phillips.

Only a superb effort from the New Zealand fielder was able to dismiss Labuschagne as he looked aggressive on day three of the Test match. His 90 runs also saw his average move back up to 50 as he was the batter with the top score from both teams leading into New Zealand's second innings.

And it wasn't just Labuschagne who piled the pressure back on the home side. Cummins came out after lunch and blasted to blast 23 runs off 22 balls. This included one over where he hit a six and two fours, before his dismissal. Australia were able to take a 94 run lead after the first innings, leaving New Zealand scrambling.

While Labuschagne was the anchor for Australia in his 50th Test match, Matt Henry was again the star for New Zealand having finished with 7-67 on his home pitch. Henry has troubled Australia's batters in both Test matches and will need another epic performance in the ball if New Zealand is able to draw the series.

Marnus Labuschagne raises his bat.
Marnus Labuschagne (pictured) scored an invaluable 90 runs for Australia. (SANKA VIDANAGAMA via Getty Images)

Pat Cummins defends Marnus Labuschagne

Questions were asked of Labuschagne's position in the team after another lean Test match, but captain Pat Cummins was quick to dismiss the outside pressure on the 29-year-old. "I think he'd be the first to admit he'd like to score some more runs," Cummins said.

"We're very clear that these six guys are the six best batters in Australia. At times it might not have clicked all together at once but the story of our team has been someone's been able to stand up when they need to. So everyone's going well."


Australia as a batting unit hasn't excelled having only surpassed 300 on six occasions this summer. While someone in the top six has stood up when it mattered, the batting line-up as a whole hasn't fired. But, coach Andrew McDonald has quelled concerns over the performance because "when you're winning games of cricket the concern levels are fractionally lower".

He also defended Labuschagne after he claimed: "There's going to be some ebbs and flows in your career". "It was only two runs so I don't want to get carried away ... but that's what we see when he's at his best," he added. New Zealand has only won one of its last 32 Test Matches against Australia and will be looking to improve this record on Friday.

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