Marnus Labuschagne acknowledged he made poor judgments in his twin dismissals to Stuart Broad in last week’s Ashes opener at Edgbaston, stating that they were both out-of-character errors and not indicative of a larger technical malaise.
Australia’s No. 3 was the highest-ranked batter entering the series, but he managed only 0 and 13 in the two innings, nicking Stuart Broad’s outswingers – a delivery the veteran England seamer said he devised for Steve Smith and Labuschagne prior to the series.
“They were very uncharacteristic dismissals to how I’ve usually played,” Labuschagne said two days out from the Lord’s Test. “That’s why I was pretty frustrated with myself to get out that way and asked myself the question, ‘why did I play at those deliveries?’.
“I’ve come up with my own summation of what that is. Now it’s if there’s anything I can do tactically or technically to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s a rarity that I’d play at those balls so it’s not something I’m going to overthink, but I hold myself to a much higher standard than those dismissals.
“When you get out the first ball you just throw it in the bag. Potentially I thought that they were going to come straight and then he got a nice ball that swung in the right area,” he said. “With a lack of bounce at Edgbaston, it sucks you in to thinking you can hit the ball a bit more and I just made a few poor decisions that were really wide. They’d be eighth or ninth stump, some of those deliveries.
“First ball, most of the time you just play and miss at that then you go ‘okay’, you can make the adjustments out there. I said this about [Ravichandran] Ashwin, guys who take the time to do the homework, understand the game, and work out how they’re going to get certain guys out, I’ve got so much respect for them so if they’re putting the time and effort in and it pays off, that’s a credit to them.”
Labuschagne, who has scored only one of his Test hundreds away from home, was confident that he had to adapt to success in English conditions. “I’ve tried to make my game as adaptable as possible, so I don’t have one way of batting,” he said. “Some people play their whole career and bat one certain way and have one method that works… I’m always working on my game and working on my technique to think of ways I can score runs.”