Marnus Labuschagne not fazed by Australia captaincy snub focused on batting

The Ashes

Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne claims that he was not disappointed that he wasn’t considered for the Test captaincy.

Pat Cummins was appointed skipper in late November after a 2018 sexting scandal ensured that Tim Paine was sacked from the position.

Labuschagne has been among Australia’s most consitent players in the red-ball game but was never seriously in contention for the role from the selectors point of view.

Despite having been stripped of the captaincy in 2018, Steve Smith was named vice-captain.

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Labuschagne has taken the snub on the chin though and backed Cummins and Smith to lead well.

“No, I wasn’t disappointed,” Labuschagne told reporters.

“I think there are two very good leaders and very good candidates. Cummins is going to do a fabulous job and he’s got plenty of support with Steve as his vice-captain and all the senior players of the group.

“My job right now is to concentrate on scoring runs consistently for Australia and I’m happy for that to be my role for now. You don’t need the title to still be a leader in the group.”

For now, Labuschagne is focused on his batting and the challenge that will be posed by the England bowlers, in particular the crafty veteran James Anderson.

“It’s going to be great fun. I really can’t wait to face Jimmy – I’ve spoken about his quality a lot … and it’s going to be a really exciting challenge,” Labuschagne said.

“I can’t tell you what they’re going to bring (in terms of tactics against him) but I can just prepare for everything that might be thrown at me.

“The target is on your back now that you’re scoring runs and you’re a main part of that team, but I’ve got great examples that I’ve seen in this generation – Williamson, Root, Smith, Warner, Kohli – those guys are consistent performers for a long period of time, so they’re really good examples of people to look up to, to see how you have to manage the pressure of continually scoring runs.”

The Ashes

Squads

Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith (vc), Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

England: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Schedule

First Test: December 8-12, The Gabba

Second Test: December 16-20, Adelaide Oval

Third Test: December 26-30, MCG

Fourth Test: January 5-9, SCG

Fifth Test: January 14-18, Perth Stadium

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