Labuschagne ready to call on heritage to help Australia beat South Africa

By Sports Desk December 14, 2022

Marnus Labuschagne is ready to use every trick in the book to get the better of South Africa as Australia prepare for the first Test.

The top-order batsman is set to face the country of his birth for the first time in red-ball cricket, having been born in Klerksdorp before moving to Brisbane as a child.

Though he scored an ODI century in South Africa in 2020, the chance to face off against the Proteas at The Gabba is an opportunity Labuschagne is relishing.

Dean Elgar revealed the Australian spoke to him in Afrikaans in a bid to throw him off during an English county match in 2019, and the Queensland man would not rule out doing so again on the biggest stage.

"We'll have to wait and see," he said. "I've got no doubt that they're going to throw some curveballs and hopefully the responses can be either funny or none at all.

"I certainly think it's always exciting what this Test holds because it is a little bit closer to my heart, because it's the country where I grew up and where I spent 10 years of my life."

With 927 runs in 16 innings this year, Labuschagne has only been outscored in Test cricket by three other men – team-mate Usman Khawaja and the England pair of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow.

His form sees him ranked as the top Test batsman by the ICC, and he credits his achievements to his drive to keep bettering himself.

"I am who I am because I am obsessed, and I am obsessive," he added. "I love to try and get better each time and each day.

"I think that part, hopefully it never stops for me because I think that's what makes me who I am."

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