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Australia’s star batsman Marnus Labuschagne said he is not disappointed that he was overlooked for Australia captaincy role after Tim Paine’s resignation and that his focus is on helping the team by scoring runs in the all-important Ashes, starting December 8.

Though only 18 Test matches old, Marnus Labuschagne was regarded as one of the captaincy candidates for Australia but he was not offered an interview by Cricket Australia who had a detailed process to appoint Paine’s successor.

Notably, Pat Cummins was appointed as captain and Steve Smith his deputy after interviews conducted by the cricket board.

“No, I wasn’t disappointed,” Labuschagne told reporters.

“I think there are two very good leaders and very good candidates. Cummins is going to do a fabulous job and he’s got plenty of support with Steve as his vice-captain and all the senior players of the group.

“My job right now is to concentrate on scoring runs consistently for Australia and I’m happy for that to be my role for now. You don’t need the title to still be a leader in the group.”

A little more than two years on from the 2019 Ashes, Labuschagne has cemented himself as Australia’s number three and one of the world’s best batsmen with a stratospheric average of more than 60. He has come a long way since his first Ashes appearance, when he became test cricket’s first concussion substitute at Lord’s after Smith was taken out by a Jofra Archer bouncer.

While Smith dominated the drawn series with 774 runs, Labuschagne played an outstanding support act, notching four half-centuries to help Australia retain the urn in England for the first time in nearly two decades.

He has since racked up five hundreds, including a 215 against New Zealand, and looms as a major problem for England to solve in the series starting at the Gabba next week.

“The target is on your back now that you’re scoring runs and that you’re a main part of that team,” said Labuschagne.

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India today

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