No beef with 'lasagne', but homemade banter better
Unfazed by quirky quips about his surname, Marnus Labuschagne says he's copped more grief from his own Ashes teammates in the Sheffield Shield
Sam Ferris at Headingley, Leeds
23 August 2019, 09:20 PM AEST
England's attempts at unsettling Marnus Labuschagne with culinary-inspired banter on day one fell on deaf ears after the batsman revealed the chat was nothing compared to what he gets at home from teammate James Pattinson.
Labuschagne top scored with 74 in Australia's total of 179 having been set in to bat by England captain Joe Root in bowler-friendly conditions.
England's fielders were understandably chirpy in the field at 2-25, welcoming the No.4 to the crease by calling him 'lasagne' among other variations of his name.
But hearing the opposition mispronouncing his surname is "nothing different than usual" from what he cops in the Sheffield Shield, in particular from fiery Victorian Pattinson.
"There was a lot of banter out there which is good, it's Ashes cricket, it's meant to be tough," Labuschagne told cricket.com.au on the morning of day two.
"They were throwing all sorts of banter out there. Nothing that I'm not used to, though.
"That's what Shield cricket is for, that's what Patto gives me every time I go out to play."
He made a crucial 59 at Lord's, stonewalling England's attack for more than two hours.
Labuschagne was out in unusual fashion at St John's Wood, caught at mid-wicket after his sweep shot off spinner Jack Leach ricocheted off bat-pad Jos Buttler to a diving Joe Root at mid-wicket.
It was another strange ending to his innings in Leeds when a full toss from Ben Stokes cannoned into his pads above the knee roll. The force of the ball knocked him off his feet and left him on his stomach.
The Queenslander reviewed the umpire's decision, which confirmed Stokes' delivery would have clattered the woodwork.
"I just didn't see the full toss, I didn't see the ball, it got lost behind the sightscreen," he said.
"By the time I picked it up it was too late and I tried to get the bat down on it.
"Hit me on the knee and pretty much pushed my knee back and I fell face flat on the ground.
"Probably not the ideal review but I thought might as well go upstairs."
Labuschagne and David Warner, who made 61, were the two standout Australian batsmen on day one, combining for a 111-run stand that had the visitors on top at 2-136.
But Jofra Archer inspired a stunning collapse as England claimed 8-43 in less than 20 overs.
Labuschagne says discipline remains the key to making runs on the Headingley pitch, which is providing considerable assistance to the bowlers.
"Obviously making sure you're playing with intent, but you know which area is the bowlers' area and you make sure you're playing that accordingly," he said.
"You saw Davey yesterday, he left the ball very well and still put them under pressure when they missed their length."
2019 Qantas Ashes Tour of England
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
England squad: Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Chris Woakes.
First Test: Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston
Second Test: Match drawn at Lord's
Third Test: August 22-26, Headingley
Tour match: Australians v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: September 4-8, Old Trafford
Fifth Test: September 12-16, The Oval