Carey Labuschagne Eyed for changes in 2nd Test vs New Zealand

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins

The Australian captain and head coach has eyed making major changes in the playing 11 for the next test match on Australia’s tour of New Zealand 2024.

Carey Labuschagne Eyed for changes in 2nd Test

Pat Cummins was disappointed with the performances of Alex Carey and Marnus Labuschagne during the first test of the New Zealand tour.

Australia’s batting line-up has been eyed for major changes for the second test. Despite scoring a huge score in the first innings of the first test, they were bowled out for 164 runs in the second innings, giving New Zealand a fighting chance.

With the help of Lyon, Australia secured victory in the match but Cummins doesn’t want to continue slipping in the batting line-up.

“Absolutely not,” Cummins said. “I think he’d be the first to admit he’d like to score some more runs. And it’s not through lack of trying in the nets. I think particularly that second innings was just one of those ones down leg.”

We’re very clear that these six guys are the six best batters in Australia and although at times they might not have clicked altogether at once the story of our team has been someone’s being able to stand up when they need to.”

Matt Renshaw has only one spare batsman in the squad, which was set to be replaced if there is any injury, regardless of the result in Wellington.

Australian coach also said Marnus’s form is no harm for the line-up but wants a more positive attitude from the player. “I don’t think there’s any great concern from our point of view,” McDonald said.

“We want the top six, seven batters to be performing as a collective. So I think while the rest are performing around that and you’re winning games of cricket, I think the concern levels are fractionally lower.

“Can he perform better? No doubt about that. Does he know that? He knows that. Is he working on it? Yes.

“Over time there’s going to be some ebbs and flows in your career. And I thought in the second innings, and this is really hard to sort of quantify, but I thought the intent and the energy he brought to the crease, and that was only two runs so I don’t want to get carried away with two runs, but that’s what we see when he’s at his best.

“We saw that at Sydney [against Pakistan] in the second innings as well. We saw that in Manchester as well where he came out there and he had the intent to score and put it back onto the bowlers. So that’s when we think he’s at his best.”

On the other hand, Alex Carey’s average has gone down below 30 after his poor performance in Wellington.

“They’re going on at the moment,” McDonald said. “He’s disappointed with that as a method to Glenn Phillips. He’s encouraged himself to play off the back foot.”

“It’s an error in judgment. I think we’re not going to hang him on one inning or two innings. Over a period of time, we’ll see how that plays out.”

The coach suggested that the batting line could improve as a collective when they play a crucial role in the game.

“We feel like we can be better,” McDonald said. “We feel as though at times we have underachieved with the bat which has left games open and it’s probably more particularly in the third innings of games.

“I think if you go back across the last 12 months, we’ve had some chances in the third innings to really shut out the opponent and we’ve left the door ajar at times and potentially we’ve probably been in a hurry to get to the total that we think we should get to and then get the game moving forward.

“In this game, we played some shots that were probably up tempo for what the surface was going to allow. But we encourage our players to expand and apply their own methods.”

“And then it’s just about reviewing that at the end of the game. So we left the door slightly open but as we saw there in the context of this game, the surface was offering plenty and it was difficult to bat.”

Australia has lost tests against India in Delhi and Headingley where their batting line-up collapsed in the third innings of the match. They also suffered at Lord’s and Melbourne like the test in Wellington.

“I think it’s something we can get better at, the whole 11 batters, particularly around that third innings where the game seems to speed up a little bit,” he said.

“I think when we’re at our best, especially at home, it’s [being] ruthless, setting them 600, 650. I think it’s something we can look at,” he concluded.

With both sides aiming for victory in the second test, Australia and New Zealand will start on March 08 at Hagley Oval.