In the last two decades, the cricket scene in India has been undoubtedly shaped on the ideals of the legendary Sachin Tendulkar. The Men in Blue’s hall of fame is revered as one of the greatest cricketers of all time if not the best, and even today’s cricketers aspire to reach the potential to become next to the ‘little master’. But who does Sachin himself pick to be the most similar to him? Surprise, its not Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma, noone from his homeland even, its Aussie sensation Marnus Labuschagne!
Since stepping into Test cricket back in 2018, the South Africa born Marnus Labuschagne has been setting himself up as a prodigy in the Australian cricket team. His rise to fame happened in last year’s Ashes, after coming on as a substitute for an injured Steve Smith in the second test. In the whole series, Labuschagne scored a total of 353 runs, with four half centuries.
In a recent interview, Sachin Tendulkar was asked about which current batsman he would resemble himself, and Labuschagne’s name came up.
“I happened to be watching the second Test match (Ashes) at Lord’s between England and Australia. When Steve Smith got injured, I saw Labuschagne’s second innings,” Sachin told reporters.
At Lord’s, Labuschagne scored a stunning 59 runs with eight boundaries, and immediately grabbed Sachin’s attention.
He continued: “I was sitting with my father-in-law. I saw Marnus get hit off the second ball from Jofra Archer and, post that, the 15 minutes he batted, I said, This player looks special.” he added.
“His footwork is so precise. So he would be the one I would say,” it was the youngster’s amazing footwork that Sachin found amusing, and its the very thing he could relate to himself with.
“Footwork is not physical, it’s mental. If you’re not thinking positively in your mind, then your feet don’t move. That clearly indicated to me that this guy is mentally strong because if you’re not, your feet will not move.” the 46 year old concluded.
Following the Ashes, the 25 year old totalled an astounding 896 runs against Pakistan and New Zealand. With an amazing Test batting average of 63.43, he earned his first limited overs call up in January in the ODI series against India.