Labuschagne bats on a balcony with a view of the Pakistan tour

MELBOURNE: The world’s top-ranked Test batsman Marnus Labuschagne is hoping to take his dominant form on Australian grounds in Pakistan and is leaving no stone unturned as he prepares for the three-Test tour.

Labuschagne practiced batting on the balcony of his home on a rubber mat laden with pieces of aluminum foil taped to try and mimic the variable bouncing and turning of Pakistani wickets as Australia prepare for their first tour there since 1998.

The Australian number three said he tried something similar before heading to England for a county season in 2019 which resulted in a strong Ashes streak later that year.

“I tried to create a wicket and a ball that was spinning a lot but not bouncing, because one of the big factors when you go to England is that it pinches and swings and it sews, but the ball kind of hits the stumps of a shorter length,” he told reporters on Monday.

“So (it’s) kind of the same thing happening in Pakistan.

“I was like, ‘Well, what’s the best way to recreate the spin…so (this) a spin, a slide and you can’t really predict what it’s doing, so you have to come up with a plan and a method.

“That was the idea behind it all.”

Pakistan will be Australia’s first Test tour since the 2019 Ashes, where Labuschagne suffered a series of escapes with the bat.

Two-and-a-half years later, he topped the ICC Test Batting Rankings last month, having averaged 41.87 in Australia’s 4-0 loss to England in the Ashes 2021/22.

“I feel very privileged to be number one right now but I also feel the challenge,” he said.

“You know, I haven’t played much away from home.

“So I’m really looking forward to the challenge and hopefully I can get up in the different conditions.”

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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