Test star Marnus Labuschagne declared he’s an “impact bowler” only and part-timers shouldn’t be seen as serious spin options for the Test tour of India that remains firmly in his mind as he makes his Big Bash return.
After flying into Brisbane on Tuesday, Labuschagne was dumping his bags at home and heading straight to training with the Brisbane Heat to make the technique tweaks needed when he and his Test teammates Usman Khawaja and Matt Renshaw join him at the Gabba on Wednesday night.
The trio are among eight members of the Test XI that drew the final clash with South Africa at the SCG who will boost the Big Bash with their presence over the final few games.
But all will have an eye on their preparation for February’s Test tour of India, with Labuschagne declaring the current outfit has the “best chance” to win a first series there since 2004 and just the second in 50 years.
Labuschagne, who taped aluminium plates to a rubber mat on his back balcony to try to prepare for the conditions in Pakistan earlier this year, said he wouldn’t have time to come up with something similar to get ready for the wickets in India.
But focusing on what he and his fellow batters are in for has been a constant thought and any chance to simulate those conditions in training will be crucial.
“It’s about emulating that real aggressive slide than spin,” Labuschagne said on arrival in Brisbane on Tuesday
“You watch a lot of footage of games in India and it’s not the ball that spins away that gets the wicket, it’s the one that spins on. If I can emulate those conditions in any training, if it’s in the backyard or whatever, that’s what’s important.”
His role as a batter will take significant precedence over any bowling training too, with Labuschagne declaring India was the place for specialist spinners, not part-timers, as selectors weigh up the best balance for each match.
“I’m always happy to bowl, but when you go to the subcontinent it’s about accuracy and consistency, and as much I’d like to say I’m at that level, I’m not,” said Labuschagne, who has 13 Test wickets.
“I can be an impact bowler, bowl three, four, five overs at a time. But I can’t bowl 10 or 11 overs straight as a part-time leg-spinner and be super accurate.
“That’s the key element. Me and Travis (Head) and Smudge (Steve Smith) can pick up some overs, but what’s really important is the two main spinners.”
Labuschagne said the Test players were “pretty pumped” to get back to the Big Bash despite it giving them little break before they head to India for the first match on February 9.