Australia call up Labuschagne as Mitchell Marsh slumps

Australia have added allrounder Marnus Labuschagne to their squad for the final Test against India in Sydney which they need to win to level the series.

Labuschagne made his debut in the UAE earlier this year and played both Tests against Pakistan where he showed some promise with bat and ball, making a top score of 43 alongside claiming seven wickets with his legspin.

However, a poor start to the Sheffield Shield cost him the chance of being part of the India series from the beginning and his first-class numbers for the season are an underwhelming average of 28.22 with the bat and 59.60 with the ball.

It is Labushange’s bowling as much as his batting which has brought him back into contention as Australia battle to balance their side amid the struggles of Mitchell Marsh and workload of the quick bowlers.

Mitchaell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins had almost two days in the field as India piled up 7 for 443 and were then back out again by the final session of the third day after Australia folded for 151 in their first innings.

Mitchell Marsh performed a handy role with the ball in Melbourne, sending down 26 tight overs over the opening two days, but had an awful time with the bat as he twice fell trying to attack Ravinda Jadeja. It takes his Test run tally in his last five matches to 74 runs at 7.40.

No one has been dropped from the squad named before the Melbourne Test which means Peter Handscomb, who was omitted in favour of Marsh, retains his place. Peter Siddle, who will play Big Bash for Adelaide Strikers on New Year’s Eve, remains the spare pace bowler.

Aaron Finch‘s role as opener is also being hotly debated following a double failure at the MCG and though he has been retained it could be that a shuffle in the order is considered or that his position comes under threat with Labuschagne’s call-up.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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