"He is fighting himself" - Damien Fleming identifies reason for Marnus Labuschagne's dip in form
Former Australian cricketer Damien Fleming believes that Marnus Labuschagne is currently grappling with his own personal challenges, which has hindered his ability to make a significant impact in the Ashes 2023 series. Despite his impressive performance in the County Championship Division Two, where he showcased exceptional form, Labuschagne has failed to live up to expectations in the UK.
In the third Test at Headingley, Labuschagne got off to a promising start in both innings but struggled to convert it into a substantial score, highlighting a recurring issue for him this summer. According to Fleming, the quick dismissals of Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith in the second innings of the third Test heavily influenced Australia's defeat.
Fleming expresses hope that the 29-year-old regains his form swiftly to assist Australia in securing the series victory in Manchester.
Fleming impressed by the performances of Travis Head and Usman Khawaja
Fleming said while talking to SEN SA Breakfast, “Ya, it did (Labuschagne and Smith’s early dismissal creating problem for Australia). There was not a lot in for the spinners. Moeen Ali was really just trying to dry up one end, so that the English quicks could attack from the other end. The Marnus one, he hasn't looked himself in this series. It seems like he is just fighting himself."
“Getting to 20 and 30 pretty easy but when he gets to that sort of score, it feels like I think he needs to just keep free-flowing and the Marnus we know in the last three or four years, he has been a batting machine really, averaging 55-60. It seems like he is battling himself,” the Aussie added.
Moreover, Fleming reveals his initial belief that both Smith and Labuschagne would be a formidable force to reckon with against England, who historically have a strong track record against Australian left-handed batsmen. However, he expresses surprise at the impressive performances of Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, and Mitchell Marsh, commending them for their significant contributions.