Marnus relishing ODI opportunity in India

Rob Forsaith
Marnus Labuschagne will make his ODI debut for Australia against India next week

Marnus Labuschagne is relishing a chance to conquer a new format in foreign conditions as he prepares to return to India, having first started a remarkably rapid rise there in 2018.

Labuschagne, crowned player of the series after Australia's 3-0 smashing of New Zealand, is indisputably the nation's form batsman after plundering four tons in a record-breaking haul of 896 Test runs this summer.

Coach Justin Langer was even happy to humour Ricky Ponting's observation that Labuschange could be a future Test captain, smiling as he noted there were "a number of guys who could take on the role, he might be one of those".

The right-hander will make his ODI debut during Australia's three-match tour of India, which starts next week and will feature the world's top-ranked bowler Jasprit Bumrah.

Steve Smith's year-long ban and delayed concussion created opportunities for Labuschagne, who has entrenched himself in Australia's Test XI since replacing a groggy Smith during last year's Lord's Test.

But the first of many sliding-doors moments came on an Australia A tour of India in 2018.

Labuschagne was meant to return home after the one-day section of that trip, but Matthew Renshaw's hamstring strain resulted in his retention for the red-ball games.

And Labuschagne made such a good impression that a month later he was handed a Test debut in the UAE.

"I went to India on an academy tour three years (ago) and went there for Australia A," the 25-year-old told reporters on Tuesday after landing in Brisbane.

"I loved it. It's going to be different.

"You want to test yourself against the best opposition and in the toughest conditions. There is no tougher than going to India."

Labuschagne, who has two nights at home before departing for India on Thursday, suggested batting on a slow SCG pitch would be good preparation for the subcontinent.

Renowned for being a great player of spin bowling, Labuschagne will be picking the brain of Smith, Aaron Finch and David Warner while attempting to prove his white-ball credentials against Virat Kohli's team.

"I really enjoy the shorter format," he said, having celebrated a maiden double-ton in Sydney.

"A format change and obviously the wickets will be different, but I've got a lot of experience to lean on. Guys who have played there for five, six or seven years in the IPL and toured there for Australia five or six times.

"I've got a lot to learn."

Langer backed Labuschagne to make the most of his latest opportunity.

"His domestic one-day record is excellent ... we're very excited to see how he goes," Langer said.