Marnus Labuschagne and David Warner once again put on a solid partnership on Day one of the day-night Test to put Australia in control. The duo added 171 for the second wicket and Australia were 221 for just two wickets at close on a day where England bowled well, but were once again let down by their fielding.
After the early drama in the day, when captain Pat Cummins was asked to isolate himself after coming in close contact with a person who had tested positive in a restaurant, Steve Smith the vice-captain won the toss and elected to bat first. Both Warner and Labuschagne batted sensibly to see off the new ball, which was doing a lot all through the day and more after the dinner break, but England bowlers were not able to get the breakthrough. Warner looked set for a well-deserved century, but missed out once again like Brisbane to be out for 95.
Ben Stokes targeted Labuschagne with the short ball and when he tried to pull it, Jos Buttler put it down. When Stokes tried the same ball again, he ducked and motivated himself enthusiastically, “Yeah, well played, Marne”.
Labuschagne got the big break in Tests in the last Ashes series when Smith was hit by a bouncer off Jofra Archer and became the first concussion substitute. However, by the end of the year he had more runs than Smith. In 19 Tests, he has scored 1,956 runs with five centuries and 11 half centuries at an astonishing average of 61. Cricket pundits feel Labuschagne has got the right temperament to become one of the all-time greats of Australian Cricket. He is 27 years and has got a lot of cricket left in him to reach great heights.