Marnus Labuschagne is fast earning a reputation as one of the best fielders in the Australian Test team, and in world cricket.
The excitable batter spoke earlier this summer of his enjoyment at simply chasing a ball to the boundary.
That’s been evidenced in the three matches already in recent weeks, with Labuschagne sprinting and diving to save West Indies and South African boundaries on multiple occasions.
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But on Boxing Day his athletic ability went to another level, and got the MCG crowd off its feet twice in the space of an hour and a half.
Just before lunch, Proteas skipper Dean Elgar pushed a delivery into the mid-wicket region and called for a quick single, but it was a gamble he shouldn’t have taken.
Labuschagne pounced on the ball, and in one swift motion picked it up and flung it with his right arm towards the non-strikers end.
The ball rattled into the stumps before Elgar could find his ground, dismissing the captain.
The piece of fielding was lauded by Australian great Adam Gilchrist.
“The cardinal sin of cricket – run out at a very delicate time. Eight minutes before lunch, and he’s the captain of the side,” Gilchrist of Elgar.
“Marnus take a bow, you are a genius in every facet of the game.
“A ball of energy. He wants to contribute at every stage of the game.”
Labuschagne’s efforts in the field were even likened to legendary Aussie captain Ricky Ponting.
Lanbuschagne again left South Africa reeling when he took a screamer at cover to dismiss Khaya Zondo in the second session.
The Aussie fielder got airborne and flew to his left to take the grab two-handed.
“Marnus is just unstoppable in the game at the moment,” Australian women’s star Alyssa Healy said on Fox Cricket.
“He got that run out earlier, and he’s taken a screamer. That’s exactly why he’s in that position – they don’t need a cover when they’ve got Marnus in at short cover.
“He seems to change the game constantly.”
Labuschagne himself was humble when quizzed on his spectacular day in the field.
“It’s just one of those days, it’s nice,” he told Fox Cricket.
“You’re lucky enough to hit the stumps there, and hold on to that catch.”
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