Bloemfontein [South Africa], September 8 (ANI): Following his match-winning half-century against South Africa in the first ODI, Australian batter Marnus Labuschagne revealed how his mother had a belief that he would feature in the match despite him not being in the team and he ended up playing.
Batter Marnus Labuschagne made a timely statement after his omission from the World Cup 2023 squad with a gutsy, match-winning half-century and century stand with Ashton Agar to guide Australia to a three-wicket win over South Africa in the first ODI of a five-match series on Friday night.
After the match, Labuschagne said, "She stayed for the whole game … she was adamant when I came here that I was going to play this game and I told her 'I have seen the team, mum, I am not in the team'," Labuschagne recalled in the post-match presentation as quoted by cricket.com.au.
"She just had a feeling, and once again she's right," he added.
The batter revealed that he has been training really well, something he is proud about and makes sure he is ready always.
"The opportunity that happens when you are a concussion sub is sometimes a little bit of a free hit because the pressure of the game is out there but obviously the expectation is probably not as much on you. I have been really disappointed with how I have played my one-day cricket, the last 10 to 12 games I felt like I have not shown the intensity and the courage that I would have liked," Labuschagne said.
He admitted that he was not too shocked after being omitted from the squad and understood why he was out.
"I was not too shocked when I when I was dropped, I said that to the selectors (that) 'I understand, I haven't made runs'," said Labuschagne.
"When I came back from the Ashes, I went back to the drawing board and really thought about what I wanted to improve in my one-day game. I still want to be that person batting in the middle-order, and you have just got to sit tight and wait for your opportunity and when it comes, you have got to be ready," he added.
Since year 2022, Labuschagne has not made the most of his opportunities in ODIs. In 18 matches, he has scored just 454 runs at an average of 30.26, with just four fifties in 17 innings.
Coming to the match, South Africa was bundled out for 222 in 49 overs. A century from Temba Bavuma (114 in 142 balls with 14 fours and a six) and his fifty-run stand with Marco Jansen (32) helped SA cross 200 runs. Josh Hazlewood (3/41), and Marcus Stoinis (2/20) were the pick of the bowlers for Australia. Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa and Cameron Green got one wicket each.
Chasing 223, Australia was at 113/7, but a 112-run stand between Labuschagne (80* in 93 balls with eight fours) and Ashton Agar (48 in 69 balls with three fours and a six). Kagiso Rabada (2/48) and Gerald Coetzee (2/44) were the pick of the bowlers for SA. (ANI)