Australian Marnus Labuschagne has had a memorable start to his international Test career.
He commenced it with the bat last week with a second-ball duck in Australia’s first Test against Pakistan.
This week, in the second Test match, the Queensland batsman continued to make the headlines.
Firstly, Labuschagne took a contender for the catch of the series on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi, where he took a remarkable take at short-leg to dismiss Mohammad Hafeez off Mitchell Starc’s bowling.
The ball flew into Labuschagne’s inner thigh from a Hafeez flick and ended with him holding onto the ball with his knees while facing the square-leg umpire.
As well as this moment of brilliance, Labuschagne has also grabbed the headlines through his method of dismissal in Australia’s first innings.
With Australia on 91-7, Labuschagne put on an important 37-run partnership with Mitchell Starc. His individual score of 25 was the most encouraging innings of his short Test career to date.
However, he was dismissed due to his inability to ground his bat when Yasir Shah deflected a Mitchell Starc drive onto the stumps.
The 24-year-old had his bat over the line, but did not put it down before the ball clattered into the stumps. There seemed to be plenty of time for him to place his bat on the ground as well.
“Caught napping,” Rameez Raja said in the commentary box. “That partnership broken through some extremely silly cricket.
“He’s looking at the ball, looking at ball hit the stump yet doesn’t react. It’s just an incredible piece of cricket.
“What a mistake from Marnus Labuschagne,” Mike Hussey said later. “The most bizarre dismissal. Labuschagne just had the bat in the air and just watched it all the way onto the stumps.”
“It was terrible, what was he thinking?” inquired Waqar Younis. “He obviously wasn’t thinking,” replied Hussey.
“Justin Langer the coach would be so frustrated with that.”
Boldy, Labuschagne elected to sit right behind Langer when he reached the dugout.
“I’m surprised Labuschagne is sitting so close to Justin Langer, I’d be avoiding the coach,” Hussey said. “He’s a brave man sitting right next to the coach,” added Younis.