Marnus legend knows no bounds
MARNUS Labuschange knows the world's bowlers are coming for him after an astonishing rise to prominence and that the only way to beat them is to get better.
Subbed in to the Ashes in August, Labuschagne has turned himself in to an irresistible cricket force and joined a list of Aussie greats by taking out the Test Player of the Year award.
Four hundreds in the home summer alone, including 215 in Sydney, was part of 1340 runs in 11 Tests which entrenched Labuschagne in the international cricket spotlight.
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"That's the challenge, you see a lot of people come in first year and they might score runs and them teams have more of a look … they find ways to get you out," the Queenslander said.
"For me it's about being better, being on top of that, making sure I understand my game well.
"I am lucky enough that I have amazing people around me … Steve Smith and Dave Warner and the entire Test batting line-up, they have been through that, they understand that and they know you have to come back hard.
"I have to make sure the next step for me is to be more consistent, for more than one year."
Indian great Sachin Tendulkar has also taken notice of Labuschagne, suggesting the Test No.3 reminded him of him.
Labuschagne was taken aback by the praise, but also conscious not to get lost in it.
"I actually saw that and thought "that is pretty cool'," he said.
"For me it's about putting those things in perspective, and not worrying so much about what people are saying but if there's an opportunity to learn from anyone of that calibre, you take that opportunity."
Labuschagne will take his next international step in South Africa, where he was born and spent the first 10 years of his life.
He has never played cricket there, apart from as a child, and will be watched during the one-day series by his entire family.
"I was born there, I grew up there, but Australia is my home and the baggy green is my pride and joy," he said.
"But going back there is going to be really interesting and really exciting.
"All my family is over there, only my mum, dad and sister is here, so my whole family is going to be there.
"The pressure is on but it's going to be exciting to play in front of people who mean so much to me but haven't been able to see me play."
FINCH HUNGRY FOR WHITE BALL REDEMPTION
A chance for World Cup redemption in October can't come soon enough for Aaron Finch who said he thinks about last year's semi-final loss to England every day.
The limited-overs captain won his first Australian one-day player of the year award on Monday night and conceded he hadn't fully moved on from loss at Edgbaston last July in the 50-over tournament.
"It hurts every day. You think about and run through your head what you could have done differently to change the result," he said.
"You move on after a while, but I haven't quite yet."
But Finch said lessons learned from that entire campaign, including warm up matches and camps before the tournament again, would be crucial for success in the T20 World Cup being staged in Australia.
"Potentially we peaked a little bit early in the 50-over World Cup. It was such a long build up, a lot of warm-up games, camps beforehand, maybe we were flagging a little bit towards the end of the tournament. Maybe," Finch said.
"We played really good cricket at the start and maybe not towards the end.
"That's something that I think at a World Cup, you have to peak at the right time, you have to be tracking in the right direction at the end of the tournament.
"That's something we will work on no doubt."