SYDNEY – Steve Smith has set some pretty lofty standards for Australian batting in recent years but Marnus Labuschagne's exploits in the five home tests this season now bear comparison, especially after he broke a 67-year-old scoring record on Saturday.
The effervescent 25-year-old, born in South Africa but raised from the age of 10 in Queensland, made his debut against Pakistan in October 2018 and impressed with four half centuries in last year's Ashes series in England.
Since he first took guard against Pakistan again in Perth in November, though, he has enjoyed a purple patch of form that few other batsmen have rivalled.
After scoring 215 to drive Australia to 454 in the third test against New Zealand on Saturday, Labuschagne has now scored a double century, two 150s, one century and two half centuries in his last seven innings.
The knock took him to 837 runs at an average of 199.57 for the home season, bettering the 834 Australian batting great Neil Harvey tallied in a five-match series against South Africa in 1952-53.