We wouldn’t be having this conversation if every one of the current Australian Test team had the attitude and ability of Pat Cummins.
Even though the baggy greens lost the MCG third Test, Cummins posted his career-best bowling figures of 6-27 off 11, and highest career score of 63.
He was on the MCG for 313 of the 363 overs bowled in the five days, giving his all with every ball, so little wonder he was knackered when stumps were pulled.
Since Tim Paine took over as captain there have been six Tests with one win over India by 147, an honourable draw with Pakistan in Dubai, and four losses by 492, 373, 137, and 31 to South Africa, Pakistan and India.
There have been very rare Cummins-type dedication among those losses.
In fact, Aaron Finch, and the Marsh brothers could be dropped for the SCG Test, and wouldn’t be missed.
So adding Labuschagne to the squad isn’t nearly enough, but adding Joe Burns as well would have made more sense.
Then the batting order for the SCG could be Usman Khawaja, Marcus Harris, Burns, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Labuschagne, Paine, Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, and Josh Hazlewood.
The biggest disappointments have been Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, and Marcus Stoinis for not living up to their all-round status at a time when Australia seriously needed one at six.
Mitchell in particular as he’s been given many chances, and blown them.
In 31 Tests he has a batting average of 25.39, and a bowling average of 42.91.
Switch those stats around, and he’d be perfect for the job, while Maxwell and Stoinis keep giving away their wickets cheaply, slamming the selection door shut.
So that’s opened the door for Labuschagne who is averaging only 28 with the Sheffield Shield bat, and 59 with the ball – hardly riveting.
Despite being expensive in the Shield, his leggies may yet be embraced on a turning SCG strip, time will tell.
But there’s are only three Tests to go before Steve Smith and David Warner see out their 12-month suspensions on March 29 – the SCG Test with India, and two more against Sri Lanka at the Gabba and Manuka in late January, early February.
Then some selection normality will return, and not before time.