South Africa and Australia continued their ongoing multi-format series by taking on each other in the first of five ODIs. However, despite Australia’s resounding victory, the highlight of the clash was something completely different. Marnus Labuschagne’s arrival as a concussion substitute in the playing XI not only garnered immense limelight but also turned out to be decisive.
As Australia aimed to chase down a target of 223 runs, all-rounder Cameron Green was hit in the helmet by a fiery bouncer from the Proteas pacer, Kagiso Rabada. Sustaining a heavy blow to the helmet, Green was unable to continue, and in almost identical scenes to his famous debut, Labuschagne was brought in as a concussion substitute.
Scoring 80* runs in 93 deliveries, Labuschagne starred with the bat and propelled his side to a brilliant win in the first ODI of the series. Furthermore, after the game, the star Aussie batter came forward to reveal that his mother had told him that he was going to play this game despite not being in the lineup.
“She had a feeling, she was adamant when I came here that I was going to play this game. I told her, ‘I’ve seen the team mum, I’m not in the team.’ Once again, she’s right,” Labuschagne was quoted as saying by Fox Sports.
She stayed for the whole game, what a roller coaster: Labuschagne
It is also worth noting that Marnus Labuschagne was propelled into Australia’s lineup quite similarly in 2019. Being a sporadic member of the side, Labuschagne was brought into the lineup after Steve Smith was hit in the helmet by a brutal bouncer by Jofra Archer.
Furthermore, in an identical fashion, Labuschagne repeated his heroics against South Africa as well. Winning the game for his side, the Aussie batter made for a brilliant partnership with Ashton Agar and made sure that he finished the game. He also revealed that his mother stayed for the entire duration of the game.
“She stayed for the whole game, even though I wasn’t playing for the first three-and-a-half hours, what a roller coaster,” Labuschagne said.