In another display of sustained concentration and ever-improving technique, young Australia star Marnus Labuschagne made a fantastic double-century in Sydney and in doing so, imprinted his name in the record books.
Having already gone past 140 thrice this season without going past 185, the 25-year-old kept his focus against New Zealand to reach a new career milestone. He became the first player to register four 140+ scores in an Australian summer, a feat made more impressive by the fact that this is a five-Test season compared to the six, seven or even eight Tests that have sometimes been played.
Labuschagne also became only the fifth player to make over 800 runs in a five-Test Australian season, joining the likes of Don Bradman, Neil Harvey and Wally Hammond.
He was dismissed for 215 when he tried to aerially flick legspinner Todd Astle in the hunt for quick runs, halting his total to 837 runs, behind only Hammond’s 1928/99 tally of 905 for most runs scored in a five-Test season.
After his dismissal, his average now sits at 63.63, a touch higher than Steve Smith’s average of 62.84. He now lays the claim to the second-best batting average in Test history after Don Bradman’s iconic 99.94 for those who have played at least 20 innings.
After a lean first run in the Australian Test side, Labuschagne made the most of his second chance when he was called up as a concussion substitute for Smith during the 2019 Ashes. He passed fifty several times during that series but failed to make a century.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 4, 2020
But once he went past that barrier with a stellar 185 against Pakistan in Brisbane in the first Test of the Australian season, he has passed that mark with unparalleled regularity. He may yet improve on some of the aforementioned records should Australia bat again in this Test, as they hunt for a clean sweep against the Black Caps.