CricketLabuschagne Continues To Impress In County Championship Ahead Of the Ashes
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With the highly anticipated Ashes series just around the corner, two Australian players have been making their mark during their stints with Glamorgan. One of them, Marnus Labuschagne, is a definite starter for the team, known for his unique chewing of bubble gum while batting.

Labuschagne rose to prominence when he became Test cricket’s first-ever concussion substitute during Australia’s previous tour of England in 2019, stepping in for the legendary Steve Smith.

Since then, Labuschagne has become a key player in the Australian side, batting alongside Smith in the middle order. Currently sitting at the top of the Test batting rankings, Labuschagne has been in scintillating form for Glamorgan, accumulating an impressive 502 runs in eight County Championship innings.

With two centuries and two half-centuries under his belt, he boasts an average of over 70. Labuschagne’s recent performances have been exceptional, with each of his last six innings yielding scores of 50 or more, apart from a minor blip against Sussex, where he was dismissed for just one run by England’s Ollie Robinson.

Labuschagne quickly bounced back, however, scoring a magnificent 138 in Glamorgan’s second innings. Notably, Robinson was absent from the field due to a sore left ankle, which England will hope doesn’t jeopardize his chances of featuring in The Ashes.

While Labuschagne’s batting prowess comes as no surprise, another Australian player, Michael Neser, has turned heads with his performances for Glamorgan.

Neser, primarily a seam bowler, has been exceptional in that role during his five fixtures, claiming an impressive 19 wickets. He achieved his career-best figures of 7 for against Yorkshire, including a remarkable hat-trick.

In addition to his bowling exploits, the 33-year-old Neser has been making valuable contributions with the bat. He scored 90 against Leicestershire, followed by 86 against Worcestershire, and most impressively, notched up his third first-class century against Sussex.

His unbeaten knock of 123, which lasted nearly four and a half hours, helped Glamorgan draw the game and denied his Australian teammate, Steve Smith, an opportunity to bat for a fourth time in his short stint with Sussex.

Smith’s three-match spell with Sussex garnered both excitement and frustration. Some hailed the chance for Sussex’s emerging players to learn from a modern-day great, while others lamented the fact that an Australian linchpin was given time to acclimatize to English conditions ahead of The Ashes.

However, Smith’s on-field performance was somewhat underwhelming. He began with a knock of 30 against Worcestershire, followed by just three against Leicestershire. He concluded his time with Sussex by scoring 89 runs against Glamorgan and also claimed two wickets with his part-time leg-spin, including the dismissal of Neser.

Although Neser was not initially included in Australia’s squads for the World Test Championship final against India at The Oval or the first two Ashes Tests, his outstanding displays with both bat and ball for Glamorgan might earn him a call-up, especially considering that key seamer Josh Hazlewood is nursing a side injury.

Another player who has been making an impact in county cricket is Sean Abbott, who has taken 16 wickets and scored two half-centuries for Surrey, currently leading the Division One standings.