A lot of gum, but it's working - Labuschagne revels in starring role as Australia triumph

By Sports Desk January 06, 2020

Marnus Labuschagne might get through a lot of chewing gum, but he sees no reason to change his batting ritual after playing a starring role in Australia's 3-0 series whitewash of New Zealand.

Australia completed their series sweep thanks to a David Warner century and another five-for from Nathan Lyon, as they sealed a resounding 279-run win in the third Test in Sydney.

Warner's unbeaten 111 led Australia to 217-2, Tim Paine declaring with a 415-run lead, and a comprehensive win was secured as the Black Caps were skittled for 136.

Labuschagne, who scored 215 runs in the first innings and hit 59 in the second, finished with 549 runs for the three-match series.

"It's been an amazing summer," he said at the post-match presentation where he was given the man-of-the-match and man-of-the-series awards.

"It's so special to share these moments with your family, who have been part of your journey. It's hard to put [the success] on one thing, but my level of concentration and not doing any silly things.

"A lot of gum but it's working, so why change. I just love the journey and it's been wonderful being part of this Australian team."

Labuschagne, along with Steve Smith and Warner, won praise from Paine, who says he is honoured to captain an Australia side ranked second in the ICC World Test Championship, while adding he hopes success on the pitch provides the nation with some enjoyment amid the ongoing bushfire crisis.

"I am very lucky to captain this group," the captain said. "Batting has become very consistent with Marnus leading this year and Steve and David back.

"It's a pretty simple task for me at times, to be honest. I think we can still get better, there were moments in this series as well when we were not at our best.

"We are really pleased with the progress we have made in the last 12 months but we know have some big series coming up.

"It hasn't been a great few weeks for our country. Our goal as a team is to give the Australians some entertainment. But our thoughts go out to them and firefighters are doing a great job."

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, meanwhile, acknowledged, his side must learn from their humbling defeat.

"Credit to the Australian team," Williamson said. "They were clinical but they put us under pressure session after session. There's so much to learn from this experience.

"We have a bit of time off, so a bit of regrouping. We were outplayed in all departments. There are number of things to work on and improve upon.

"For a number of guys, it's the first time here and you must appreciate it because you won't get this experience anywhere else."

Related items

  • Duckworth-Lewis-Stern co-developer Tony Lewis dies aged 78 Duckworth-Lewis-Stern co-developer Tony Lewis dies aged 78

    Tony Lewis, who co-developed the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern system utilised in cricket, has died, the ICC confirmed on Thursday.

    Lewis passed away at the age of 78. He developed the original Duckworth-Lewis method alongside fellow statistician Frank Duckworth.

    The ICC has used the formula – which calculates the target score for a team batting second in an interrupted limited-overs match – since 1999.

    After the retirements of Lewis and Duckworth, Steven Stern became the custodian of the method and his name was added in 2014.

    "Tony's contribution to cricket is huge. The present day system of resetting targets in international cricket is based on the one developed by him and Frank more than two decades ago," said ICC general manager Geoff Allardice.

    "His contribution to the game of cricket will be remembered for years to come and we send our condolences to his family and friends."

  • World unions will unite to help Australia, says RFU chief World unions will unite to help Australia, says RFU chief

    Rugby Football Union (RFU) chief executive Bill Sweeney said boards across the world want to help Rugby Australia (RA) after it reported financial problems amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    With rugby union leagues and competitions being shut down in a bid to combat the spread of COVID-19, RA stood down 75 per cent of its working staff for three months earlier this week, shortly after it had revealed a provisional deficit of 9.4 million Australian dollars in 2019.

    USA Rugby has also filed for bankruptcy, claiming the suspensions caused by coronavirus, and the uncertainty about the future, had accelerated financial problems.

    Sweeney conceded those announcements have caused concern among the world's unions, who are trying to collaborate on potential solutions to aid those struggling.

    "The USA, quite frankly, were struggling somewhat before the crisis hit anyway – so they were perhaps the most vulnerable of anybody," Sweeney explained.

    "I know World Rugby are in conversations with them in terms of how they can sustain the game in that country.

    "Australia have been reported as being in a weaker position than a lot of others.

    "There is an unprecedented amount of dialogue going on between all the unions and the relationship between the north and the south [hemispheres] has probably never been better, and we are just looking at various ways we can structure things that everybody can benefit and find solutions to these challenges ahead.

    "It's in no one's interest for Australia to get into even more serious difficulties."

    Eddie Jones' England are due to tour Japan in July for a two-Test series against the Brave Blossoms.

    However, given the Olympics - staged in Tokyo - has already been put back a year to July 2021, it would appear unlikely England will embark on that tour when scheduled.

    "We are in regular dialogue with World Rugby and a lot of the other unions as well around the world," Sweeney added.

    "This is a conversation we are having around the July tours. It's a bit too early to say. We expect to be able to make a decision on that towards the end of April."

  • On this day in sport: Mets boss dies, Red Rum hat-trick, MLS strike over, India glory On this day in sport: Mets boss dies, Red Rum hat-trick, MLS strike over, India glory

    Today marks 25 years since Major League Baseball stars called off their strike, which had resulted in the previous year's World Series being scrapped.

    It is also 38 years to the day since the New York Mets were left stunned by the death of one of the biggest names in baseball.

    History was made on this day in England at Aintree in 1977, while India's cricketers and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney were both celebrating nine years ago.

    Let's take a look back at April 2 in sporting history.

    1972 - Baseball in shock as Mets manager Hodges dies

    Gil Hodges had been a superstar with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers, and rounded off his playing career with the just-founded New York Mets. An eight-time All-Star, as a coach he added to the two World Series with the Dodgers, Hodges famously reviving the Mets and leading them to a shock 1969 title triumph over the Baltimore Orioles. But Hodges died on April 2, 1972, at the age of just 47, when he suffered a heart attack following a round of golf in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was his second heart attack: a first came in Atlanta in September 1968, early in his career as manager of the Mets.

    1977 - Red Rum wins third Grand National

    Tommy Stack rode Red Rum to Aintree glory, as the Ireland-bred steeplechaser followed up 1973 and 1974 triumphs at the Liverpool course with an unprecedented third Grand National victory. The feat has never been matched, with Red Rum triumphing against the odds after second-placed finishes in 1975 and 1976. At the age of 12, Red Rum's third success went down as one of racing's most famous wins.

    1995 - Baseball stars go back to work

    From August 12 1994 until April 2 1995, there was no top-tier baseball in the United States, with MLB stars going on strike in a labour dispute that stemmed from salary-cap proposals that got players riled. The 1994-95 season was abandoned in September, and the strike lasted for 232 days until judge Sonia Sotomayor's injunction against team owners persuaded the players to go back to work.

    2011 - India triumph, Rooney treble

    India landed Cricket World Cup glory in front of their home fans in Mumbai when the hosts landed a six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the final. Mahela Jayawardene made a century in Sri Lanka's 274-6 before India reached their target with 10 balls to spare, helped by 97 from Gautam Gambhir and 91 not out from MS Dhoni.

    In London, on the same day, Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick as Manchester United came from 2-0 behind to defeat West Ham 4-2 at Upton Park in the Premier League, an important result as Alex Ferguson's team went on to win the title weeks later.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.