Marnus Labuschagne calls Steve Smith as the ‘lead frontrunner’ to open for Australia in tests

Written by Sumit Seth

Marnus Labuschagne has claimed Steve Smith to be the frontrunner to takeover from David Warner as the Test opener for Australia following their series win over Pakistan.Warner called time on his Test career after the match at the SCG, with Australia now on the lookout for a new opener. The names of Marcus Harris, Matt Renshaw and Cameron Green has been making the rounds as potential candidates, but Smith has now emerged as an interesting option.

The star batter himself has said that he would be interested in taking up the role if the team management wants it.

Speaking to Sen Cricket after the SCG Test win, Labuschagne said that he has no doubts about Smith performing as an opener in the longest format of the game and claimed that the star batter seems to be eager to take up the role.

“He averages 58 at five, 61 at four and 67 at three, so it seems like the higher he goes the more he averages,” Labuschagne said.

“I’ve got no doubt if that’s the way we went, he would do very well.”

“He really wants it, he wants that motivation. Waiting to bat is not his forte, he wants to get out there straight away.

When asked if he would be interested in taking the opener’s role, Labuschagne said he is currently happy at the number three spot.

“I’m happy to do what the team needs, but I do love batting at three, I love the variety of the role,” said Labuschagne.

“At the moment it could be anyone. I’ve seen the media throwing around Travis Head, throwing around me, obviously the three openers outside of the squad, Cameron Bancroft, Matt Renshaw and Marcus Harris.

Labuschagne concluded by saying, at this moment, Smith seems to be the frontrunner as he really wants to take up the role.“Smudge (Steve Smith) seems like the lead frontrunner, the one that really wants it.”

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Sumit Seth