When Marnus’ mother was correct

Marnus came in as a concussion replacement and finished Australia’s shaky run-chase with an 80 not out.

Four years after making an impression as a concussion substitute for Steve Smith at Lord’s, Marnus Labuschagne did it again in Bloemfontein. And he did it in an ODI, where his stock isn’t exactly skyrocketing after being left out of the provisional World Cup squad.

But Marnus’ mother has a feeling she’ll see her son play in the first ODI against South Africa.

“She stayed for the entire game… she was adamant when I came here that I was going to play this game, and I told her, ‘I’ve seen the team, mum, I’m not in the team,'” Labuschagne said following his Player of the Match performance, which saw him score 80 not out and see Australia’s wobbly run-chase home.

“She just had a feeling, and she was right yet again.”

Cameron Green was ruled out of the game after being hit in the head by Kagiso Rabada. Marnus was called into the middle. He went on to share a match-winning 112-run eighth-wicket stand with Ashton Agar.

“It comes down to your training; I always pride myself on training well and being ready,” Labuschagne said. “The opportunity that occurs when you’re a concussion sub is sometimes a little bit of a free hit because the pressure of the game is out there, but obviously the expectation isn’t as high on you.”

Labuschagne’s performance comes just days before the World Cup, and he’s sent a message to the selectors to let them know he’s available.

“I’ve been really disappointed with how I’ve played my one-day cricket, the last 10 to 12 games I felt like I haven’t shown the intensity and courage that I would have liked,” Labuschagne said. “I wasn’t surprised when I was dropped; I told the selectors, ‘I understand, I haven’t made runs.'”

“When I returned from the Ashes, I went back to the drawing board and seriously considered what I wanted to improve in my one-day game.”

“I still want to bat in the middle order, and you just have to sit tight and wait for your opportunity, and when it comes, you have to be ready.”

And Marnus will be ready once more. Because mothers are always correct.