Labuschagne rapt for South African return

The prospect of playing in front of his South African family for the first time is something star Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne can't wait for.

MARNUS LABUSCHAGNE
MARNUS LABUSCHAGNE Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Marnus Labuschagne is excited by the prospect of performing in front of family when he bats in South Africa for the first time representing Australia.

Having been selected in the squad to face the Proteas in three ODIs, starting on February 29, the star Australian batsman will return to the country of his birth.

"All my family's over there (in South Africa). We only have my mum, dad and my sister here (in Australia)," Labuschagne said.

"It's going to be very exciting. Obviously I was born there, I grew up there for the first 10 years of my life.

"But Australia is my home, it's my country and the baggy green is my pride and joy.

"Going back there is going to be really interesting and really exciting because I've got a lot of family there, a lot of support there.

"Pressure's on but it's exciting to play in front of people that mean so much to me but probably haven't been able to see me play for 10, 12,15 years."

Born in Klerksdorp, 130 kilometres southwest of Johannesburg, he could face a mixed reaction from the Proteas crowd, who would rather watch him dominating for South Africa.

But Labuschagne is focusing on the positives as he looks to carve out a white-ball career as impressive as his Test resume.

After just 14 Tests, Labuschagne is averaging a staggering 63.43, putting him only behind Don Bradman's 99.94 and even in front of great mate Steve Smith on 62.84.

His breakout year resulted in him being named best Test player at Monday night's Australian Cricket Awards ceremony.

Labuschagne's ODI career is only getting started after debuting in Australia's 2-1 series loss in India last month.


AAP