Australian star Marnus Labuschagne has admitted his part-time leg-spin won’t play a major role in the upcoming tour of India, despite his clear love of bowling.
The 28-year-old is ranked as the world’s best Test batsman heading into the four-game series, but is yet to play a red-ball game in India during his career.
Labuschagne will be a vital factor for any potential success for the Aussies, who will be looking to secure their first away series victory against India for almost two decades.
The emphasis will be on the spin bowling for both sides, with the likes of Nathan Lyon and Ravichandran Ashwin expected to play crucial roles throughout the four matches in India.
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But despite taking 13 Test wickets to date and bowling some very handy leg-spinners, Labuschagne isn’t expecting to feature much with the ball in the sub-continent.
“I’m always happy to bowl, but when you go to the sub-continent it’s about accuracy and consistency,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“As much as I’d like to say I’m at that level, I’m not. I can be an impact bowler and bowl three, four, five overs at a time.
“But I can’t bowl 10 or 11 overs straight as a part-time leg-spinner and be super accurate.
“That’s the key element. Me and Travis [Head] and Smudge [Steve Smith] can pick up some overs, but what’s really important is the two main spinners.”
Ashton Agar, Todd Murphy and Mitchell Swepson are all expected to be named in Australia’s extended squad for the tour, with the three spinners all vying for the chance to partner the aforementioned Lyon.
Labuschagne is aware of the importance of spin bowling in the sub-continent, and will be honing in on his own batting skills in order to make an impact.
“It’s about emulating that real aggressive slide than spin,” he said.
“You watch a lot of footage of games in India and it’s not the ball that spins away that gets the wicket, it’s the one that spins on.
“If I can emulate those conditions in any training, if it’s in the backyard or whatever, that’s what’s important.
“My mind has been on the Indian tour for a long time now. The main tour has been India, that’s where we want to win and that’s where we want to make our name.
“It’s our best chance and we need to make the most of it. It’s a great opportunity for us to go to India and put the Indian team under real pressure and win that series.”
Australia will begin their Test series against India on February 9th.