Marnus Labuschagne avoided a severe finger injury and confirmed that he is ready for the upcoming Boxing Day Test. Labuschagne’s resilience was tested on the brutal Optus Stadium wicket, as he was one of the many Australia batters who faced tough conditions during their second innings due to the surface deteriorating on days three and four.
Labuschagne was hit on the finger by a delivery from debutant quick Khurram Shahzad during Australia’s second innings, but after seeking medical attention, he continued batting and finished with 2 runs. Although he experienced some discomfort from the blow, Labuschagne was relieved to find no break and declared himself fit to play.
Even with other batters receiving blows and the tough conditions, Labuschagne and Australia emerged unscathed from the game with Pakistan. Looking ahead to the Boxing Day Test, Labuschagne believes that the surface at the MCG will provide a different challenge compared to Optus Stadium, with more seam and swing. He also recognized the advantage of facing a subcontinent team on a bouncy surface.
Australia’s comprehensive victory over Pakistan in the series opener suggests that the team will likely remain unchanged for the upcoming Test match, with allrounder Cameron Green expected to miss selection. Despite the physical and mental challenges faced in the previous match, Labuschagne is confident in the team’s ability to adapt and perform at the MCG.