- Has struggled for runs in all forms of cricket
- Will skipper Queensland in final Marsh Cup clash
- Teammate believes time in the middle will help him
Marnus Labuschagne will have a chance to press his captaincy credentials when he leads Queensland for the first time at senior level in a one-day game on Wednesday.
The Australian star is also set to play a Sheffield Shield game in Adelaide on Friday as he tries to rediscover his best form ahead of Australia’s Test tour of New Zealand later this month.
Labuschagne has been named captain in Queensland’s final Marsh Cup fixture against South Australia at Karen Rolton Oval on Wednesday in the absence of Bulls skipper Usman Khawaja and his usual deputy Jimmy Peirson, who is managing a knee complaint ahead of the Shield fixture.
Khawaja is unlikely to make the trip to Adelaide for the Shield game as he is given time to rest before the New Zealand tour.
The extra responsibility comes as Labuschagne looks to turn around a disappointing run of form in the Australian summer, after he looked set to snap a slump with the bat by posting a pair of half-centuries against Pakistan in Sydney before battling against the West Indies with scores of 10, 1*, 3 and 5 in the two Tests and 26 in his one innings during the ODI series.
Marnus Labuschagne will captain the Queensland Bulls in the final Marsh Cup match against South Australia
The Aussie star has been struggling for form across all formats of cricket for a long period
Teammate Steve Smith believes that time in the middle will help Labuschagne find his touch
Labuschagne’s fellow batting machine Steve Smith said the Queenslander could “probably hasn’t got the scores on the board that he would have liked” at the end of the test series and any time in the middle would help him re-find form.
“I think as batters we’re always sort of searching for that perfection, and sometimes when you do try that little bit too hard it makes it that little bit further away,” Smith said.
“He’s definitely a thinker, sometimes maybe an overthinker, which I’ve said to him as well.
“It’s about sort of going to the basics and trusting yourself and doing all the work you want to do in the nets. But when you get out in the middle, it’s just about focusing on that ball coming down at you and playing each one to the best of your ability.”
All six state teams will have their final one-day games on Wednesday with the winner of the clash between NSW and Victoria at the North Sydney Oval set to earn the right to host the Marsh Cup final.
Western Australia can rise from third place into the second finals spot by beating Tasmania in Hobart.
All six teams are playing without several white-ball stars still involved in the Australian T20 team, but they will be available for the final, which is set for Sunday, February 25.