London: Top-ranked Test batter Marnus Labuschagne has revealed why he took a brief nap during Australia’s second innings of the ICC World Test Championship Final when he dozed off even while teammates faced a bowling barrage at The Oval.
Labuschagne decided to sit back and take a nap as teammates David Warner and Usman Khawaja looked to build on Australia’s lead, though the No.3 batter was rudely awoken and called out to the middle when Mohammed Siraj struck, reports ICC.
Taking a nap before his innings, Marnus Labuschagne was awoken on The Oval balcony by India fans celebrating David Warner’s wicket.
“I was just resting my eyes between balls and just relaxing,” Labuschagne told SEN Cricket after the day’s play. “I was trying to calm my nerves a little bit, you can’t watch the game all the time, I got up there and was awake pretty soon. I didn’t have too many rests there when Siraj banged that first one in.”
As Labuschagne took guard to begin his innings, commentators on hand were chuckling after the vision was beamed around the world.
“Marnus Labuschagne at No.3, that is one of the more extraordinary arrivals to the crease that you will see,” Harsha Bhogle said.
“Are you awake, Marnus? Have you brushed your teeth? Have you had a coffee?”
India’s fans were Labuschagne’s wake-up call, according to fellow commentator, ex-Australia batter and coach, Justin Langer.
“The appeal of the crowd, there’s the alarm! Oh, I’m up and going. I will brush my teeth, a quick espresso coffee to get me going and now he’s got to face his first ball.”
Labuschagne had to be wide awake and laser-sharp in his focus with Siraj continuing on his bowling tirade.
The batter was struck multiple times on the gloves, before reaching 41* at the close of play and helping Australia to a strong position ahead of day four.
Australia will resume at 123/4 with a lead of 296 runs, with Green 7* partnering Labuschagne as they look to build on their advantage with two days to play.