Australia “don’t have much intel” as they get ready for their first trip to Pakistan in 24 years, but the No. 1 Test batter is being innovative with his prep work for spin
It will be Australia’s first trip to Pakistan in 24 years and just the third full Test series Pakistan has hosted since the format returned in 2019 following visits by Sri Lanka, Bangladesh (aborted due to the pandemic) and South Africa.
“It’s a really exciting challenge to go over there. We don’t really know what we’ll get, we don’t have much intel on the wickets,” Labuschagne said. “If the wickets are what I’ve heard they are – they’ve got a good pace attack and they have some pace in their wickets – well we’ve had plenty of practice on fast, bouncy wickets at the Gabba, so think we’ve got that covered.
“One part we don’t have covered is spin. We don’t necessarily have too many wickets around our country that spin. You can only do your best with recreating conditions that you face, then from there you try to make sure you are prepared when you get out there.”
“I thought what is the best way I can recreate spin,” Labuschagne explained, “but not just consistent spin because that’s quite easy to recreate…but where some [balls] spin, some slide and where you can’t really predict what it’s doing.”
“I feel very privileged to currently be the No. 1 but I also feel the challenge,” he said. “I haven’t played much away from home, so really looking forward to the challenge and hopefully stand up to the different conditions we’ll play [in] over the next two years.”
“I got along really well with JL, had a great relationship, and have a lot to thankful for,” Labuschagne said. “He had the faith in me when I was averaging 30, saw something in me and gave me an opportunity, so I’ll always be thankful for him for that. But as professional sport, it moves quick and we just have to move forward and take on the next challenge without him.”
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo