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'Whenever you play India, it's a tough series' - Marnus Labuschagne
Australia News

'Whenever you play India, it's a tough series' - Marnus Labuschagne

Marnus Labuschagne has deemed the upcoming ODI series in India a "tough challenge" as he hopes to make a smooth transition to white-ball cricket.

Australia are scheduled to tour India for three ODI encounters, the first of which will be hosted at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on January 14.

Although Australia triumphed 3-2 in a closely fought series the last time they toured India, they now face a rejuvenated Virat Kohli-led Indian side bolstered by a spate of victories at home.

"Whenever you play India, it's a tough series because they're a very tough opposition. They've got great batters and bowlers, so it's going to be a challenge," Labuschagne was quoted as saying by

"But as a player, you always want to test yourself against the best opposition in the toughest conditions, and there's nothing tougher than India in India."

The limited-overs fixtures also provide Labuschagne with an opportunity to cement his position in Australia's white-ball unit.

The 25-year-old Queenslander has witnessed a dream run in Test cricket ever since he was drafted into the side as a concussion substitute for Steve Smith during the second Ashes Test.

From an obscure 110th position at the beginning of 2019, Labuschagne has reaped the rewards of a plethora of prolific outings to vault to the No. 4 position in the ICC rankings for Test batsmen.

Following his exploits in the Australian Test summer where he racked up four hundreds in five matches, the compact shot-maker has been compared to some of the modern-day greats.

"For people to speak like that is amazing, but there's a lot more work to be done before anything like that can be talked about," he said.

"Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith - those guys have been doing it for five, six, seven years. To have one good summer doesn't make you a great player. So for me, it's about trying to be consistent and trying to get Australia to win games."

With a decent List A average of 37.83, Labuschagne looked forward to the possibility of making his one-day debut.

"If I get an opportunity that'd be great. Luckily I have a wealth of experience there with Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steve Smith … to continue to learn from those guys is great."

The middle-order batter reckoned Australia's recent clash against New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) gave them a chance to play on a slow surface, which could be a recurring trend in India.

"It's probably good preparation coming from (playing on the SCG) going to India … that's probably the closest we have in Australia to spinning conditions. But with the format change, the wickets will be different," Labuschagne said.

"I've got a lot of experience to lean on with guys who have played five, six, seven years of IPL and Test tours over there for Australia, so there's a lot to learn."