Runs to come for Marnus: county coach

·2-min read

The English mentor who helped put Marnus Labuschagne on a path to stardom is confident the "resilient" batsman will quickly find form after an uncharacteristically lean start to the county season.

Labuschagne has linked up with Glamorgan this year, returning to the team at which he scored 1114 runs at 65.5 during 2019 to demand a spot in Australia's Ashes squad.

The right-hander entered Australia's XI as a concussion substitute for Steve Smith at Lord's soon after and has never looked back, rising to third on the global Test batting rankings.

Labuschagne arrived in Cardiff after a man-of-the-match knock of 192 in the Sheffield Shield final.

The batsman has since managed scores of 11, 12, 10, zero, 11 and zero not out, having faced eight deliveries in the final innings of Glamorgan's rain-affected draw with Kent.

"Marnus is a very resilient player, you don't get to number three in the world easily," Glamorgan coach Matthew Maynard told BBC Sport.

"He's had a couple of decent balls and a dubious lbw decision in this game.

"Those things happen and I'm sure Marnus will score plenty of runs for us, not just this season but in seasons to come."

Maynard was coaching Glamorgan in 2019 when he helped Labuschagne tinker with his technique and adapt to local conditions.

Labuschagne has always spoken highly of Glamorgan and would have returned in 2020 if not for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 26-year-old's decision to play red-ball matches, especially against English bowlers, should hold him in good stead for this summer's Ashes.

But it did come at the cost of a spot in Australia's white-ball squad for July's tour of the West Indies.

"He is deeply upset to miss out due to circumstances beyond anyone's control," chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns admitted, citing logistical complexities associated with quarantine requirements.

Meanwhile, Cameron Bancroft scored 39 and spent 199 minutes at the crease in Durham's rain-affected draw with Derbyshire.

It was Bancroft's first first-class knock since the former Test opener reignited debate about the ball-tampering scandal, having claimed Australian bowlers' knowledge of the sandpaper plot in Cape Town was "self-explanatory".

Former Test batsman Peter Handscomb scored 70 for Middlesex in their second innings of a draw against Surrey, posting his first half-century of the season.