Australia fear they might have let India off the hook on the first day of the deciding Test in Brisbane, according to centurion Marnus Labuschagne.

Number three Labuschagne reached three figures for the first time in the series with a typically diligent 108.

However, he top-edged a pull off debutant seamer Thangarasu Natarajan (2-63) to be pouched by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, shortly after Matthew Wade departed to the same bowler for 45.

Like Wade, Steve Smith was guilty of not capitalising on a start when he became Washington Sundar's maiden Test wicket on 36, although Cameron Green (28 not out) and under-fire captain Tim Paine (38no) got the hosts to 274-5 at stumps with the four-match series all square at 1-1.

"Look, all our batters are going to make their own assessment of the way they got out. They're all international players," Labuschagne said.

"You know everyone gets judged harshly. You're your own harshest critic and everyone will look at their dismissals and say, 'What could I have done better?'

"I'm definitely disappointed about not going on and getting a really big score that would have put us in a better position as a team.

"We'll still take the position we're in, it was really nice to see Greeny and Tim finish it off there when we did lose two wickets in quick succession."

Injuries have laid waste to India's plans over the course of the series and Natarajan and Sundar featured for the first time in the longest format as key men Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah were ruled out.

It meant learning on the fly against unfamiliar opposition, although it was a challenge Labuschagne relished.

"Definitely I had to formulate some plans on the run and keep trying to understand the situation, what they were doing. That's the part of the game that is really enjoyable." he said when considering an India attack that was further compromised by the loss of Navdeep Saini to a groin injury after only 7.5 overs.

"You've got to read the situation out there. You can look at stuff on a screen and see how guys bowl but only you know out there, with a feel of how you can do things and how you can make things easier. "

Not for the first time, Smith was the centre of controversy for alleged gamesmanship on the final day of the drawn third Test, but Labuschagne failed to spot any ill-effects as the pair shared a stand of 70 for the third wicket.

"I don't think when he walks out onto the field that stuff really concerns him. He's focusing on the ball and scoring runs," he added.

"If anything it gives him extra motivation to put big runs on the board. I don't think that stuff comes into play when he's out there at all."

Marnus Labuschagne notched his fifth Test century on an even opening day of the fourth Test between Australia and India in Brisbane.

Labuschagne (108) helped Australia to 274-5 at stumps on day one at the Gabba, where they are unbeaten in their past 31 Tests, on Friday.

The right-hander was dropped twice and punished India, who continued to fight despite their injury woes.

But Matthew Wade (45) and Tim Paine (38 not out) were Australia's next two top scorers, several poor dismissals costing the hosts after they elected to bat first on a warm day, with the captain and Cameron Green (28 not out) unbeaten at stumps.

Thangarasu Natarajan (2-63) and Washington Sundar (1-63) made their Test debuts for India, who were without Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah and Hanuma Vihari from the drawn third Test.

Adding to India's worries, Navdeep Saini (0-21) was sent for scans on a suspected groin injury.

After winning the toss, Australia quickly found themselves 17-2 in a poor start in their bid to win a series that is locked at 1-1.

Rohit Sharma took a great low catch diving to his right from first slip to remove David Warner (1) off Mohammed Siraj (1-51), while Marcus Harris (5) handed Shardul Thakur (1-67) his first Test wicket with a flick straight to Sundar at square leg.

Steve Smith (36) and Labuschagne steadied the innings with a 70-run partnership before the former departed after lunch, caught by Rohit at short midwicket off Sundar.

Labuschagne was given two lives – on 37 and 48 – and he made India pay alongside Wade as Australia looked set to take control of the Test.

Since Labuschagne made his Test debut in October 2018, only New Zealand star Kane Williamson (six) has made more centuries than his five.

But Wade and Labuschagne skied deliveries from Natarajan with pull shots to give India a way back into the Test as Australia were left at 213-5.

Paine and Green were relatively comfortable before the latter was dropped on 19, Thakur spilling a tough return chance, and they got to stumps ahead of an important day two.

Australia are well-placed in the third Test against India after a strong day three in Sydney on Saturday.

After Pat Cummins (4-29) and a brilliant fielding display saw India dismissed for 244 in response to Australia's first-innings 338, the hosts reached 103-2 at stumps – a lead of 197 runs.

Cheteshwar Pujara (50) led India's batting effort, but they lost 49-6 to finish their innings as the SCG pitch began to show signs of uneven bounce.

Making matters worse for the tourists, Rishabh Pant (left elbow) and Ravindra Jadeja (left thumb) were taken for scans after suffering blows while batting.

Marnus Labuschagne (47) and Steve Smith (29), who led Australia's first-innings batting effort, were unbeaten at stumps as the hosts put themselves in position to take a 2-1 series lead.

It came after some wonderful fielding and a fine bowling display by Cummins reduced India.

Cummins had Ajinkya Rahane (22) playing on for the first breakthrough of day three before Josh Hazlewood (2-43) stepped up in the field.

The Australia paceman moved to his right at mid-off before quickly unleashing a throw while diving to run out Hanuma Vihari (4).

Pant responded for India but he struggled after a blow to his elbow and was caught at first slip by David Warner off Hazlewood.

Cummins had the dangerous Pujara caught behind, while Ravichandran Ashwin (10) was run out and Labuschagne produced a wonderful direct hit to also run out Jasprit Bumrah (0).

Jadeja (28 not out) played some nice shots and India were boosted by a couple of quick wickets to begin Australia's innings.

Mohammed Siraj (1-20) had Will Pucovski (10) caught behind and Warner (13) was trapped lbw by Ashwin (1-28), but Smith and Labuschagne steadied the innings to ensure Australia stayed in control.

Australia made a strong start to the third Test against India on a rain-hit opening day in Sydney.

Marnus Labuschagne (67 not out), Will Pucovski (62) and Steve Smith (unbeaten 31) capitalised on good batting conditions at the SCG on Thursday as Australia finished at 166-2 at stumps.

There were just 55 overs bowled after a rain delay of almost four hours, but Australia look set to make the most of Tim Paine winning the toss and opting to bat.

Pucovski had some luck on debut as David Warner (5) fell cheaply, while Smith was aggressive alongside Labuschagne in a key encounter with the series locked at 1-1.

Despite wickets for debutant Navdeep Saini (1-32) and Mohammed Siraj (1-46), India were left to rue two dropped catches by Rishabh Pant.

Warner looked below full fitness in his return from an adductor injury, the left-hander caught for five after chasing a Siraj delivery and edging to Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip.

The rain delay of almost four hours followed, and Ravichandran Ashwin (0-56) slowed Pucovski and Labuschagne down after he was introduced following the delay.

The off-spinner should have had the wicket of Pucovski on 26, but wicketkeeper Pant put down the chance.

Pucovski was given another life on 32, the opener gloving a well-directed Siraj bouncer, but replays showed Pant dropped the catch on the second attempt.

The 22-year-old became the youngest Australian to score a half-century when making their Test debut at the SCG, but his luck soon ran out.

The Australia opener departed on 62, trapped lbw by Saini, a fellow debutant.

Smith, who made just 10 runs in the opening two Tests, came out with intent, his 50-run partnership with Labuschagne coming off just 80 balls.

India had few answers to finish the day, Australia in a position to build with better weather forecast for the rest of the Test.

Marnus Labuschagne was making no excuses for Australia's batting struggles as he backed Steve Smith to find form against India.

India levelled the four-Test series at 1-1 after completing an eight-wicket victory in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Australia's best score of the series so far came at the MCG, making 200 in the second innings of the loss.

Labuschagne, who is the second leading run-scorer in the series with 129 at 32.25, said India's bowlers deserved credit.

"You don't want to give any excuses or any other reasons for why we're not scoring runs," he told a news conference.

"They've been very good, they've bowled very well and been real consistent so for us it's just making sure we find a way. There's only been four innings so far in this series, some people have only batted three, so for us it's just making sure we keep finding ways to score runs.

"It doesn't have to be pretty, but we've just got to keep grinding and keep finding a way and if we do get in we've got to make sure we get those big scores."

Smith has struggled to begin the series, scoring just 10 runs while being dismissed three times.

But Labuschagne backed the right-hander's quality as Australia prepare for the third Test, which will start in Sydney on Thursday.

"You don't average above 60 after 80-odd games and … he's shown he's so consistent, even from the start of his career to now, he just keeps putting the runs on the board," he said.

"Call it what you want to call it, but not long ago he got two hundreds off 60-odd balls in one-dayers.

"He's not short of runs, maybe he has played a lot of white-ball cricket and he probably hasn't had as much time against the red ball as he would've liked, but that's the reality of cricket and this COVID situation so we've just to keep finding ways, keep hitting lots of balls at training and finding ways to get runs when we get out there."

Marnus Labuschagne was left to lament "three innocuous dismissals" as India took control of the second Test against Australia.

The tourists bowled out Australia for 195 at the MCG on Boxing Day after the hosts had elected to bat first.

Labuschagne's 86-run stand with Travis Head was the best resistance Australia offered as Jasprit Bumrah (4-56), Ravichandran Ashwin (3-35) and Mohammed Siraj (2-40) laid waste to the top of the order.

Joe Burns and Steve Smith went for ducks and Matthew Wade's promising start of 30 off 39 deliveries was undone after a reckless shot off Ashwin.

It marked the first time since November 1984 that Australia failed to reach 200 in consecutive first innings, after they mustered just 191 in the first Test in Adelaide before India's spectacular collapse.

"We had three innocuous dismissals, that we probably didn't need," Labuschagne, who top scored for the hosts with 48 from 132 balls, said.

"Just three frustrating dismissals, and I think all three of those guys were set and were in.

"It's a big job from our batting group, whoever that is on the day – whether that's myself or anyone else in the top order – that we make sure we get the big scores.

"You just know you're going to have to lock in and bat for periods of time. They're bowling really straight lines, you're not getting many runs through the off side, so this is the art of Test cricket, this is why we all love it. Because it's a continual challenge for the bowlers to come up with new ideas to stop the batters scoring and build pressure and that's what they did today.

"Something that we're realising very quickly is people are coming up with new ways, thinking about the game slightly differently. Obviously today, they came out with a heavy leg-side field and bowled very straight and didn't give us any scoring options to the off side.

"So for all our batters, you've just got to keep rolling with the punches, learning the game, understanding what they're doing and take that innings to innings. I think that's the key. As long as we do that as a batting group and learn from that, we're just going to keep getting better and learning."

The first Test between Australia and India is delicately poised after 15 wickets fell during an eventful second day at the Adelaide Oval. 

India had resumed on 233-6 but their tail did not last too long in the opening session, the final four wickets going down for 11 runs as they were all out for 244. 

However, the tourists hit back impressively with the ball, dismissing Australia for 191 despite a battling knock of 73 not out from home captain Tim Paine.

Needing to bat a short period under the floodlights prior to stumps, opener Prithvi Shaw fell to Pat Cummins for four as the tourists ended on 9-1, Mayank Agarwal not out on five with nightwatchman Jasprit Bumrah yet to get off the mark.

With a lead of 62 runs, India holds the upper hand. Still, their advantage should be even greater in the series opener, having seen a number of opportunities go begging in the field. 

Virat Kohli's side lost two wickets in as many overs to start proceedings on Friday, Ravichandran Ashwin (15) and Wriddhiman Saha (9) departing early to Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc respectively. 

The same bowlers claimed a further wicket apiece to wrap up the innings, Starc ending with figures of 4-53 as he equalled Richie Benaud's career tally of 248 for Australia. Cummins, meanwhile, finished with 3-48. 

Australia's reply saw new opening pair Joe Burns and Matthew Wade fall cheaply – both to Bumrah – while Steve Smith managed just a single from 29 balls before he was dismissed by Ashwin. 

Travis Head and debutant Cameron Green also fell to the spinner to leave the score at 79-5, though India's failure to dismiss Marnus Labuschagne on no less than four occasions allowed the right-hander to make a welcome 47. 

Yet it was Paine who caused the most problems for the visiting attack, the wicketkeeper-batsman also dropped as he made the third-highest score of his Test career, hitting 10 boundaries in a 99-ball knock that saw him run out of support in the end. 

Starc's run out for 15 did not help the cause - he was short when attempting a risky second - before Nathan Lyon became the fourth wicket for the impressive Ashwin (4-55). 

Umesh Yadav (3-40) had Josh Hazlewood caught to wrap up the innings and, while Shaw failed to survive a difficult short session before stumps, India will be pleased with their overall position.

Marnus Labuschagne will have to wait for his T20I debut despite displaying scintillating form in Australia's warm-up for the three-match series against England.

Labuschagne enjoyed a breakthrough series at the highest level last year in England when he starred as Australia retained the Ashes with a 2-2 draw over the course of the five-match rubber.

The 26-year-old has since become a fixture in his country's 50-over side and made a compelling case for honours in the shortest format by blasting 100 off 51 deliveries during Tuesday's intra-squad warm-up game at the Rose Bowl.

However, skipper Aaron Finch is set to remain in situ with David Warner at the top of the order, with Steve Smith settled at three, when the series opener takes place in Southampton on Friday.

"We're pretty settled with how we structure our T20 side at the moment," Finch told a pre-match news conference.

"He played nicely the other day, but I think he might have to wait a little bit longer in T20 cricket.

"He's had an opportunity to bat at the top of the order and he hits the ball in the middle of the bat more often than most other players and hits the ball in the gaps so that's a pretty good recipe for T20 cricket and all cricket.

"He played beautifully the other day for a hundred, it was a great knock."

Although elite sport behind closed doors has swiftly become the new normal in 2020, the prospect of one of sports' oldest rivalries being played out before empty stands is certainly set to jar a little.

Nevertheless, with England recalling Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Sam Curran following their exertions in the Test team, Finch expects a familiar edge to be present.

"The England-Australia rivalry is always huge, regardless of who you’re playing in front of or where you're playing," said Finch. "I think you could play it in the street and it'd still be there. It's just a great rivalry.

"The fact the stands are going to be empty will be a bit different. I think a few of our guys will appreciate it a little bit more than others, but at the same time we’ve probably spent 90 per cent of our careers playing in front of no one, from club cricket, junior cricket, even state cricket at times, so it doesn't change too much."

The last time the sides met in white-ball cricket was in last year's World Cup semi-final, when England stormed to an eight-wicket victory at a typically raucous Edgbaston.

"They blew us out of the water," Finch, who was trapped lbw by Archer for a first-ball duck, recalled.

"It was a tough day, but a different format, so we aren't holding any scars over that."

Marnus Labuschagne has made a stunning start to his Test and ODI careers and the Australia batsman is also eager to get his chance in the Twenty20 format.

Labuschagne, 25, earned a national contract last week after impressing in Tests and ODIs, formats of the game he averages 63.43 and 50.83 in respectively.

The right-hander has played just 10 T20s during his career, making 97 runs at 12.12, but is yet to represent Australia in the format.

However, Labuschagne is keen to star in all three formats for his country if he gets the chance.

"By no means do I want to limit myself to only those two formats. I definitely have ambition to play T20 cricket for Australia," he said in a video interview.

"Obviously my opportunities have been minimal and with the schedule it doesn't look like there might be too many other opportunities in that actual format.

"For me, it's about just scoring runs in one-day cricket and Test cricket for Australia and if I get opportunities down the road to make sure I take them.

"I think by no means do I want to restrict myself to being only a two-format player, I think there's definitely ambition and drive to play T20 cricket."

In 14 Tests, Labuschagne has already made 1,459 runs, while he already has an ODI ton in just seven games.

But the South Africa-born batsman said he felt no pressure to continue delivering.

"For me it's just about making sure that my processes, that I'm prepared, that I understand what the game requires and then to make decisions upon that," Labuschagne said.

"If that means that I get runs then that's great, and if that means I miss out for me it's just about going back to the chalkboard and understanding my game and making sure I continue to learn from that."

Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh were among the players to miss out on national contracts from Cricket Australia (CA) for 2020-21.

Khawaja, 33, was dropped from the Test team during last year's Ashes, while his last ODI was also in 2019.

Marsh, 36, has been out of international action since mid-2019 and was also left off a 20-player list named on Thursday.

"As Mitch Marsh and Matthew Wade have proven there are always plenty of opportunities for those who have missed out to be reselected by performing consistently at domestic level; and importantly to make the most of any opportunity that comes their way at international level," Australia national selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement.

"As is always the case there are unlucky omissions but, however, because you are not on the list does not mean you cannot be selected to represent Australia."

Marnus Labuschagne, Joe Burns, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Marsh, Kane Richardson and Ashton Agar were called up to the nationally contracted list.

It continues Labuschagne's incredible rise, with the right-hander averaging 63.43 in 14 Tests and 50.83 in seven ODIs.

"We feel all deserve their inclusion recognising the performances of those players in the past 12 months and, as importantly, what they can offer in the next 12 months," Hohns said.

"Marnus' rise has been meteoric and well documented, Joe has been a good Test match player, Ashton Agar’s form in T20 internationals has been exceptional, while Kane Richardson has been outstanding in the 20-over and one-day games.

"Matthew Wade's summer showed he is not only a tough but a good Test player for us. His form extended into white-ball cricket late in the summer, earning him well-deserved call-ups to the one-day and T20 Australian squads.

"After missing the list last year Mitch Marsh's recent form showed he has a lot of international cricket ahead of him as a batting all-rounder. Mitch proved this with his man-of-the-match performance against New Zealand at the SCG in the last game Australia played and a five-wicket haul in the last Test match he played on the Ashes tour."

Cricket Australia contracted player list: Ashton Agar, Joe Burns, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Ben Stokes has been named the leading cricketer in the world for 2020 by Wisden.

Stokes ends India batsman Virat Kohli's three-year reign in possession of the honour and becomes the first Englishman since fellow all-rounder Andrew Flintoff to be considered the best player in the global game by the esteemed publication.

The body of work amassed by Stokes over the course of an outstanding 2019 made him an obvious frontrunner for such recognition.

He top-scored with an unbeaten 84 as England took the World Cup final into a super over, where Stokes and Jos Buttler scored 15 before the hosts won on the boundary count back rule at Lord's.

Remarkably, that was not Stokes' finest hour of the English summer, as he went on to score 135 not out to seal an enthralling one-wicket win over Australia in the fourth Ashes Test at Headingley – an innings to rank alongside the all-time greats in cricket's longest format.

Jofra Archer, another standout performer in England's World Cup and Ashes campaigns was named as one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year for 2019, along with Australia duo Marnus Labuschagne and Pat Cummins.

Labuschagne's introduction to the series came as a concussion substitute when Steve Smith was struck by a brutish Archer bouncer and he went on to make the number three position his own, averaging 112 in the Australian summer that followed.

Cummins underlined his status as the number one pace bowler in the world with 29 wickets against England in an urn-retaining 2-2 draw.

That is a standing Archer can certainly aspire to, having claimed 55 wickets across all formats in his breakthrough international year.

Wisden's five cricketers of 2019 were rounded out by Simon Harmer, the Essex spinner whose 83 wickets gave him 12 more scalps than any other bowler on the way to County Championship glory, and Ellyse Perry.

Perry was Australia's leading run-scorer (378) and wicket-taker (15) in the 2019 Women's Ashes and was also named the leading women's player in the world.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell is the leading T20 cricketer.

Tim Paine would "fully support" Steve Smith if he succeeds him as Australia Test captain but says there are other strong contenders for the job

Smith's two-year ban from leadership roles at international level for his part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal ended this week.

Paine stepped up to replace Smith as skipper following his suspension and although the 35-year-old is in the twilight of his career, he has no intention of standing down just yet.

The wicketkeeper would back Smith should he get another chance to lead Australia, but believes there are alternative options for the powers that be to consider.

Paine said of Smith: "He's captain of the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL and Welsh Fire in The Hundred; it's something he loves doing.

"If Steve Smith decides that's the way he wants to go then I'd fully support him in trying to do so again."

He added: "We've got a number of guys to choose from who can put their hand up.

"There's Steve Smith, who's done it before, or the people who are developing underneath like a Travis Head or an Alex Carey -- Marnus Labuschagne and Pat Cummins are other ones.

"We're starting to build some real depth so that when my time's up we've got a number of options."

Paine has given thought to when he will step aside during a time of such uncertainty amid a coronavirus shutdown, but is giving nothing away.

"I know what I'm thinking, in terms of how far I can play on and we're [Paine, the selectors and head coach Justin Langer] on the same page," he told reporters via video conference.

South Africa-born Marnus Labuschagne made his first ODI century in the country of his birth, yet it came in a losing cause as Australia suffered a series whitewash against the Proteas.

Labuschagne scored 108 out of the tourists' 254-7, bouncing back from a duck in Bloemfontein last time out to reach three figures in Potchefstroom, which is around 40 minutes away from where the batsman grew up before moving Down Under.

Anrich Nortje (2-35) and JJ Smuts (2-42) had kept Australia to a below-par total which never looked like being enough given neither Mitchell Starc nor Pat Cummins were in their attack.

Smuts (84), Kyle Verreynne (50) and the in-form Heinrich Klaasen (68 not out) all registered half-centuries as South Africa claimed a six-wicket win with 27 balls to spare, sealing a 3-0 series victory.

South Africa made a strong start when opener David Warner nicked behind off Nortje on just four and Steve Smith was pinned lbw by Andile Phehlukwayo, the decision remaining with the umpire's call following a review.

The pressure was perhaps telling on Australia captain Aaron Finch, who tore into Labuschagne for turning down a single from the non-striker's end following a brilliant piece of fielding from David Miller.

There was more great work from Miller at short extra cover to remove Finch on 22 as the fielder got his fingers underneath a low chance to give Daryn Dupavillon a maiden ODI wicket.

D’Arcy Short (36) put on 81 alongside Labuschagne before becoming Smuts' first victim and Mitchell Marsh (32) was sent back thanks to more brilliance from Miller, who dived to stop Labuschagne's drive and whipped an underarm throw to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock for a simple run out.

Alex Carey was bowled by Smuts in the same over without scoring but Labuschagne went on to make an emotional century in front of around 50 watching family members.

In reply, South Africa lost both openers to Josh Hazlewood but the lack of Starc, who has returned home to watch wife Alyssa Healy in the Women's T20 World Cup final, and Cummins allowed Smuts and Verreynne to put on 96 for the third wicket.

Both men picked out fielders from mistimed slogs, but Warner was then unable to hang on to a loose shot from Klaasen, who reached his 50 when shelled at mid-on.

Klaasen sealed the victory by going four-four-six off Marsh, taking his tally for the series to 242 runs.

David Warner has won the Allan Border Medal for the third time after edging out team-mate Steve Smith by the narrowest of margins.

Australia opener Warner polled 194 votes, one more than Smith, while last year's winner Pat Cummins was also close behind with 185.

Marnus Labuschagne won the award for Men's Test Player of the Year, with Smith again coming a close second, while Aaron Finch claimed the ODI honour for the first time and Warner made it a double by landing the T20I gong.

Warner previously won the Allan Border Medal in 2016 and 2017, with four-time winners Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke the only players to have won the accolade, considered the most prestigious individual prize in Australian men's cricket, on more occasions.

The 33-year-old impressed across all formats during last season, scoring three centuries at the Cricket World Cup at an average of 71.88.

Warner struggled as Australia retained the Ashes in England but rebounded with superb home Test performances against Pakistan, versus whom he scored 335 not out in Adelaide, and then New Zealand.

The batsman's T20 form was spectacular, as he averaged 147.61 in three clashes with Sri Lanka and 140 in another trio of matches against Pakistan, helping him to see off 2019 winner Glenn Maxwell in the voting for the T20 honour in addition to the Allan Border Medal.

Warner and Smith both impressed as they returned from one-year suspensions in 2019 after their involvement in the ball-tampering affair the previous year.

The Australian Cricket Awards are voted for by players, the media and umpires after each Australia game.

Fast bowler Wes Agar was named The Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year, while in the women's game The Belinda Clark Award went to Ellyse Perry, who like Warner is a three-time winner of the top prize available.

India great Sachin Tendulkar paid "special" Marnus Labuschagne the ultimate compliment by likening the in-form Australia batsman to himself.

Labuschagne has surged up the ICC men's Test batting rankings since making his debut in October 2018, sitting third behind Steve Smith and Virat Kohli.

Tendulkar, one of the most complete batsmen in history, scored a record 15,921 runs and 51 centuries in Tests, while also topping the charts in both factors in ODIs.

The India great was impressed by Labuschagne's display in the second Ashes Test in August, when he helped the tourists earn a draw.

Asked if there any are upcoming players that remind him of himself, Tendulkar said: "There are a number of players, but I happened to be watching the second Test at Lord's between England and Australia and when Steve Smith got injured in the first innings I saw Labuschagne's second innings.

"I saw Marnus getting hit [on the helmet by] the second ball he faced from Jofra Archer and post that, the 15 minutes he batted I said, 'This player looks special, there is something about him.'

"His footwork was precise and footwork is not physical, it's mental. If you're not thinking positively in your mind then your feet don't move. So that clearly indicated to me that this guy is mentally strong. His footwork was incredible."

Page 1 of 3
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.