SA-born Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne believes his success stems from his obsessive nature and that becoming a father helped him find a better work-life balance.
Labuschagne, now ranked the world’s best Test batsman, will face his native South Africa in Test cricket for the first time when the Baggy Greens take on the Proteas in a three-match series beginning on Saturday.
The 28-year-old is in sublime form having crushed the West Indies bowlers for 502 runs in two Tests at an average of more than 167 prior to South Africa’s arrival.
Labuschagne rose to stardom during a dark time for Australian cricket when a number of their top players were suspended during the Sandpapergate saga and he stepped up as a real leader in the batting lineup.
He attributes his success in international cricket to his obsessive nature and admits it can be a bit over the top at times, which is why he thinks becoming a father has helped balance him out.
“Becoming a dad has probably helped me switch off a little bit from the game when I’m at home,” he said, according to ESPNcricinfo.
“When my family’s with me, certainly the two differences between when they were with me in Perth to when they weren’t with me in Adelaide – I got to bed a lot later in Adelaide and I was watching a lot more cricket videos at night. In Perth, that wasn’t the case, I was getting to bed earlier, putting her [Hallie] to bed.
“I am who I am because I am obsessed and I am obsessive. I love to try and get better each time and each day. Hopefully, that never stops for me because I think that’s what makes me who I am.”
Labuschagne says he is looking forward to the first Test against the Proteas in Brisbane.
“It’s exciting what this Test holds. It is a little bit closer to my heart, because it’s the country where I grew up and where I spent 10 years of my life”