Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne has addressed the contentious issue of communication between the country’s elite players and National Selection Panel, saying a lack of clarity is not something he has experienced.
While some have expressed frustration over a perceived lack of explanation relating to selectors’ decisions, the Queenslander knows exactly where he stands.
Labuschagne made his Test debut against Pakistan in the UAE last year but failed to nail down a spot in Australia’s line-up after scoring 81 runs from four innings.
The leg-spinner did, however, impress with the ball, returning seven wickets at 22 apiece in his maiden series.
He was overlooked for Australia’s squad to face India before being called up for this month’s SCG Test and contributing 38 at No.3 to go with figures of 0-76 in the rain-affected fixture.
The 24-year-old has been named in Australia’s squad for the coming two-match series against Sri Lanka, which starts on January 24, and said he had been satisfied with the communication from selectors.
“They both actually called me – the selectors and (coach) Justin (Langer) when I got dropped,” Labuschagne said on Macquarie Sports Radio.
“And that conversation goes down pretty easy. At that time, I hadn’t scored many runs in shield cricket, so I didn’t really have a leg to stand on.
“So it just became a matter of what am I going to do to get back in there, and that was the currency of runs.”
Nathan Coulter-Nile and Ashton Agar have been among those to express frustration after being overlooked for Australia’s ongoing three-match Gillette ODI Series against India, while leading JLT Sheffield Shield run-scorer Matthew Wade has also been critical of the selection panel.
Like Labuschagne, Test captain Tim Paine and batsman Peter Handscomb have also had no issues.
"There's an open line of communication," NSP Chairman Trevor Hohns said when he fronted the media earlier this month.
"It's their careers, so if they're unclear about anything, we'd like to think they can get some clarity if they want and take some ownership of their careers.
"The state talent managers as well are encouraged to encourage the players to give us a call, as is the chairman of selectors from their respective states.
"People are always told why they've been left out, so there can be no misunderstanding whatsoever.
"Sometimes obviously players are disappointed, there's no doubt about that.
"And sometimes they may understand, sometimes they may not.
"But there is that open line where they can always get clarity if they wish and we do speak to them on a regular basis."
Labuschagne, who averages 33.23 for Queensland at first-class level, backed up Hohns’ explanation.
“Absolutely you can (contact them),” he said.
“In my experience, it’s been pretty clear what’s happened when I’ve been dropped.
“(I’ve) been given reasons why and those reasons have been valid.
“So I haven’t experienced anything like that with the communication thing.”
Labuschagne has been named in a strong Cricket Australia XI to face Sri Lanka in a day-night tour match in Hobart starting tomorrow.
He is one of seven players in the side for the three-day fixture who boasts international experience.
Domain Test Series v Sri Lanka
Australia: Tim Paine (c/wk), Josh Hazlewood (vc), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Kusal Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha
CA XI: Joe Burns (c), Kurtis Patterson (vc), Scott Boland, Jake Doran (wk), Jon Holland, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Will Pucovski, Jason Sangha, Matt Renshaw, Chris Tremain
Jan 17-19: Tour match, CA XI v SL, Hobart (D/N)
Jan 24-28: First Test, Gabba (D/N)
Feb 1-5: Second Test, Canberra