Labuschagne savours 'very special' feat as double ton sees him swipe Harvey record

By Sports Desk January 04, 2020

Marnus Labuschagne said it was "very special" to take a record belonging to Australia great Neil Harvey while making his first Test double century.

Labuschagne's 215 helped Australia reach 454 against New Zealand on the second day in Sydney, and it made him the highest-scoring Australia batsman in a five-match home Test campaign.

Harvey totted up 834 runs against South Africa in 1952-53, with Labuschagne going to 837 after his efforts in the matches against Pakistan and New Zealand.

The feat earned Labuschagne praise from Harvey himself, with the 91-year-old telling the Sydney Morning Herald: "What he's done has been very good. He's got discipline and concentration. It looks as though he's going to be around for quite some time. He might pinch some of [Steve] Smith's mantle."

And 25-year-old Labuschagne, who made his Test debut just 15 months ago, was full of pride at his achievement.

"Obviously that's very special, going past a player of that calibre," Labuschagne said.

"It's hard because, when you're midway through a game or series, you don't really have time to stop and reflect on the summer that you've had.

"Looking at it, it's been a very special summer but I think the real privilege is playing in this team, with the camaraderie."

He began the day on 130 not out and was eventually caught and bowled by spinner Todd Astle.

Labuschagne survived the nervous 190s, tottering on 199 for a while before a hefty edge off Colin de Grandhomme for four brought up the double hundred.

He said: "You do get nervous. You probably don't get as nervous as you would if you were on 99. I don't know why, but that's just the feeling. Probably when you're in the 190s, it's about not doing something silly."

New Zealand plugged away to reach 63-0 by stumps and are crying out for a contribution similar to that of Labuschagne.

Australia's double centurion could yet set another record in this match.

England batsman Wally Hammond holds the record for the most runs in a five-Test Australian home summer, with 905 in 1928-29 - a target for Labuschagne should he get the chance to bat again at the SCG.

Related items

  • India captain Virat Kohli expects to play all formats for next three years India captain Virat Kohli expects to play all formats for next three years

    Virat Kohli is expecting to play all three forms of international cricket for the next three years, at which point he will re-evaluate his workload.

    The 31-year-old India captain, who is preparing to lead his side in the first of two Test matches against New Zealand on Friday, feels the topic of player workloads at the highest level of cricket is not going to go away.

    For Kohli, occasional breaks from India duty, such as when he was rested for the T20I matches against Bangladesh in November, are his best way of coping with what he feels are intense demands.

    "I think it's been eight or nine years that I have been playing almost 300 days a year with the travelling and practice sessions," Kohli told reporters before the opening Test in Wellington.

    "The intensity is right up there all the time, so it does take a toll on you. 

    "We do choose to take a lot more breaks individually even though the schedule might not allow you to. 

    "You are going to see a lot of that in the future from many players. Not just myself, especially from the guys who are playing all three formats. It's not that easy.

    "Periodic breaks for me seems to work pretty okay. At a time when the body doesn't respond as well, maybe when I am 34 or 35, you might have a different conversation at that stage. 

    "But, for the next two to three years, I have no issues at all. So the mindset is on the larger picture, and from that point, I am preparing myself for a rigorous three years from now."

    The responsibilities of being captain are an added pressure for Kohli, who is the world's highest ranked batsman in Test and ODI cricket.

    The 31-year-old added: "Being captain, having intensity in practice sessions and discussing the game, it does take a toll on you.

    "I can keep going on with the same intensity and I also understand that the team wants a lot of my contribution so that we can ease into another transition phase that we faced some five or six years ago."

    India have won the last five Test series they have played, though they come into the New Zealand games on the back of a mixed limited-overs slate.

    New Zealand triumphed 3-0 in the ODI series after India had stormed to a 5-0 victory in the T20Is between the two nations.

  • West Indies to face Karunaratne-led Sri Lanka, Thirimanne dropped West Indies to face Karunaratne-led Sri Lanka, Thirimanne dropped

    Dimuth Karunaratne has returned to the Sri Lanka ODI squad and will captain the side in their home series against West Indies, while Lahiru Thirimanne has been dropped.

    Skipper Karunaratne was one of 10 players who opted out of the last Sri Lanka ODI group that travelled to Pakistan in September amid security concerns.

    He is back in the 15-man squad to take on West Indies at home, though, with Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews among the other key players to return.

    Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella is recalled and in contention to make his first ODI appearance for a year.

    Sri Lanka lost the Pakistan series 2-0 under the stewardship of Thirimanne, who is not selected this time around after contributing just 36 runs in two games.

    Minod Bhanuka, Oshada Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Angelo Perera also miss out, while Danushka Gunathilaka is injured.

    The first ODI match against West Indies will take place in Colombo on Saturday.

    Three ODI contests will be followed by two T20 games against West Indies in March, a month in which Sri Lanka will also host a two-Test series against England.


    Sri Lanka ODI squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera, Shehan Jayasuriya, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara.

  • Petaia to miss rest of Super Rugby season with shoulder injury Petaia to miss rest of Super Rugby season with shoulder injury

    Jordan Petaia will miss the rest of the Super Rugby season with a shoulder injury.

    The 19-year-old requires surgery after dislocating his shoulder during training in Argentina last week.

    Petaia, who missed the Reds' 43-27 defeat to the Jaguares last Saturday, had scans on the injury on his return to Brisbane on Monday.

    The Reds have now confirmed the wing will be sidelined for 20 weeks, ruling him out of the remainder of the season and making him a doubt for Australia's two Test matches with Ireland in July.

    Petaia played only the first two rounds of the Super Rugby season last year before a foot injury left him out of action.

    He battled back to fitness in time for the Rugby World Cup in Japan, where he scored a try on his Test debut in the 45-10 defeat of Uruguay in Oita.

    The Reds have lost all three of their Super Rugby matches in 2020.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.