Former opener Ed Cowan has heavily critcised the South African-born Marnus Labuschagne’s recall to Australia’s Test squad.
Labuschagne debuted against Pakistan earlier this year, but did not feature in the first three Tests of the ongoing four-match series against India. He has, however, been added to the squad for this week’s decider at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
‘It’s a selection that actually dumbfounds me a little bit,’ Cowan told ABC Grandstand.
‘Someone who didn’t really earn their position for the UAE – was a bit a bit of a bolter, didn’t really do much apart from roll out a few leg breaks, hasn’t had a great domestic season, no centuries, five games, five wickets, 250 runs.
‘We’re not talking about someone who is knocking that front door down to say “pick me”, and there are batsmen who are. I think they think the SCG might turn more than what it has in recent years. I’m scratching my head.
‘They’ve had one ton in the entire calendar year and they’re picking a batting all-rounder, a bits and pieces player that Marnus is not going to provide.
‘Just pick a specialist batsman. Let a batsman do the job, let the bowlers do the job. The SCG hasn’t been turning square.’
The 24-year-old leg-spinning all-rounder is an addition to the unchanged squad, not a replacement for batsman Peter Handscomb or all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, who have been retained despite poor stretches of form.
India boast a two-one series lead. The final Test will get under way on Thursday.