Labuschagne behind only Bradman as fastest to 3,000 Test runs

Marnus Labuschagne’s endless appetite for batting has put his name once again among the greats after becoming the second-fastest batter to 3,000 Test runs, behind only Sir Donald Bradman.
Labuschagne says he cannot see the pink ball as well as the red, but it has had little bearing on his unstoppable march to begin the NRMA Insurance Test summer as he turned his third triple-figure score in as many innings into a knock of 163 in the Adelaide day-night contest.

Shortly after reaching the 150 milestone on the second day of the Test against a hapless West Indian attack, the right-hander passed the 3,000-run mark in just his 51st innings.
Only the incomparable Bradman has gotten there quicker, in 33 innings, with Labuschagne matching legendary West Indian Everton Weekes who also got there in 51 knocks.
Photo saved: Fastest

The scale of Labuschagne’s latest achievement is underlined by just how much faster he has gotten to the mark compared to other Australian batting greats who jumped out of the blocks like Neil Harvey (54 innings), Matthew Hayden (61), Adam Gilchrist, Mike Hussey and Steve Smith (all 63).

Labuschagne has now batted for over 16 hours against the Windies, who have had four bowlers go down with injury during his marathon batting stints in Adelaide and Perth.
Having backed up his 204 in the first innings in Perth with a quick-fire unbeaten 104 in the second dig and now followed it with another ton in Adelaide, Labuschagne became just the second Australian to score three centuries in consecutive innings twice in his Test career.

That has come despite his admission on Thursday evening, when he had been 120no at stumps on day one, that he struggled to view the pink Kookaburra ball he has now scored four Test hundreds against.

No one else has managed more than two
“I just don’t pick the ball up as well or as early,” said Labuschagne, who was finally dismissed caught-behind after his 305-ball stay.

“Sometimes people say ‘are you being real patient?’ – it’s just because when you’re not seeing the ball beautifully and you can’t see the seam and the rhythm and the swing.
“It’s very hard to then pick up balls to cut or pull. So you just narrow it down and go ‘right, I’ll just watch the stumps and play down here until you play more’ and you get the rhythm of the wicket and the bounce.”

If Labuschagne bats again in this match, the Queenslander could well end up with the most runs by an Australian in a two-Test series.
Only Matthew Hayden, who piled on 501 runs against Zimbabwe in 2003-04, and David Warner, who knocked up 489 against Pakistan in ’19-20, can lay claim to having had more prolific two-match campaigns than Labuschagne’s current one.

His current tally has swelled to 471 and was rapidly gaining on Hayden and Warner.

It is a testament to Labuschagne’s constant desire for self-improvement and having one eye on both the past and the future.
“Having that focus knowing there is a lot of cricket on, you want to make sure your game is in order,” Labuschagne said.

“Always thinking ahead. How are South Africa going to bowl to me (in a three-Test series beginning next week)? How are West Indies going to bowl to me?
“Taking some of those learnings I took out of Galle against Sri Lanka (earlier this year) to India (early next year).”


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