The Ashes: Australia is a well-oiled machine. Following a string of high scores in the ongoing Ashes series, Marnus Labuschagne has surpassed England skipper Joe Root to become the world’s No. 1 Test batsman.
Labuschagne, who was born in South Africa, struck his sixth Test century and backed it up with a 51 in the second Test in Adelaide to help Australia take a 2-0 series lead over their arch-rivals.
Root scored a half-century in each of the first two Tests and fell to second place among Test batsmen.
Labuschagne, who just missed out on a spot in this year’s inaugural World Test Championship final against New Zealand, said Australia’s focus isn’t solely on winning the Ashes.
“Our goal this summer is to win every single Test match, regardless of whether we win the next one,” he told reporters. “The Test Championship has delivered that to us.”
“It’s not just about winning this series; you’re also playing for something bigger.”
The first four Tests of Labuschagne’s career for Australia were played without the banned duo of David Warner and Steve Smith.
Labuschagne lost his position in the side after making his debut three years ago against Pakistan, and he only returned as a concussion substitute for Smith in the 2019 Ashes series in England.
The 27-year-old, who entered the series in fourth place, hit 74 in the hosts’ first triumph in Brisbane, and his 62.14 average is second only to Don Bradman’s legendary 99.94 among those who have batted in 20 innings or more.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam recaptured the top spot in the Twenty20 international batters rankings after only one week after losing it.
Babar is now tied for first place with Dawid Malan of England.
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