Marnus Labuschagne will be one of three Glamorgan batsmen sent to play a 2nd XI county match to try and find form after a poor start to the Royal London Cup.
He has made 3, 15 and 1 in his first three one-day innings for Glamorgan with the team losing their opening three matches of the competition to leave them a tough ask to qualify for the knockouts.
Labuschagne will join fellow Queensland batsman Charlie Hemphrey and Kiran Carlson in playing against Somerset on Tuesday ahead of Glamorgan’s next Royal London Cup match against Kent on Thursday.
“It’s far better than netting and a great opportunity on a very good wicket,” Glamorgan coach Matthew Maynard told BBC Sport Wales. “It’ll give them [Labuschagne, Hemphrey and Carlson] an opportunity to score runs. You can play as well as anything in the nets, it doesn’t always translate to the middle.
“Steve Waugh talked about how his mental resilience was developed by going back and playing grade cricket because he was expected to succeed and if the he failed, the opposition could take the micky for a long time.
“The three lads want to play. Four of our top seven batsmen are short of runs, hopefully they’ll get an opportunity to score those runs and give them some confidence ahead of Thursday.”
Labuschagne made a promising start to his Glamorgan spell, having signed as cover for Shaun Marsh, with a century on Championship debut against Northamptonshire, but in the one-day game he has enjoyed more success with ball than bat, collecting four wickets in three matches including 3 for 46 against Somerset.
He was one of the players left out of the Australia A squads to tour England with the selectors opting for most of those with county deals to continue them while the A-team one-day and four-day matches take place. Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said that county form would be considered equally along with how the A side performs.
“We have Joe Burns, Cameron Bancroft, Marnus Labuschagne, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Siddle and Daniel Worrall in our sights but they have not been included in the squad and will continue to play through this period with their county teams,” Hohns said. “However, we have made it clear that strong form with their county teams will be taken into account for selection in the Ashes squad or the Australia v Australia A tour match.”
Labuschagne is an incumbent member of the Test side having been recalled to face India in Sydney in January then played the two Tests against Sri Lanka, where he scored a maiden half-century in Brisbane, but he will face a challenge to retain his place in the squad for the Ashes with the return of David Warner and Steven Smith.