Warner out with damage

Canberra, November 30

Fast-rising Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne has said he would “love” open the innings in the final ODI against India if asked to in absence of David Warner.

Warner, who suffered a groin injury during the second ODI on Sunday, has been ruled out of the remaining white-ball fixtures, which include Wednesday’s ODI and three T20Is.

Marnus Labuschagne made 70 off 61 in the second ODI. Reuters

“Certainly, if I got asked to open the batting absolutely it’s an opportunity that I would enjoy doing. We’ll wait and see how our team shapes up for the next game and see the balance of the side, but yeah I would love doing it,” Labuschagne said.

“My role at No. 4 is just to read the situation of the game and play my role accordingly,” he added.

Australia posted 374 and 389 in the first two ODIs to beat India with ease and taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Steve Smith scored 105 and 104 in the two wins, while Labuschagne contributed 2 and 70 (off 61 balls) in the two games.

“We had Steve in so when I came to the crease it was just about building a partnership and a bit of momentum with him, and taking a back seat for the start of my innings. When he was dismissed then me and Maxy (Glenn Maxwell) could play a bit more expansively,” said Labuschagne.

D’Arcy Short has been called in as Warner’s replacement in the T20I series, which begins on Friday. Also, right-arm pacer Pat Cummins has been rested for the remainder of the white-ball matches in order to keep him fresh for the Test series.

Australia will aim to go for a clean sweep in the ODI series when the two teams clash in Canberra on Wednesday. — Agencies

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