We love them because they’re our two best batsmen and are so obsessed with cricket it can only be good for the fortunes of our national team.
But be honest: if a visiting cricketer carried on like Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne do at the crease would we celebrate them – or find it annoying?
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For the first time this summer a few murmurs have emerged which indicate the over-the-top leaves and “no runs” from our number three and four aren’t for everyone.
With a billion cricket lovers to choose from, it’s not hard to find an Indian on social media to suit any argument you’re looking to push. But a few have piped up this summer to tell the Aussie odd couple to grow up.
And now, thanks to a hot microphone at Friday night’s Big Bash League match, we also have evidence Smith and Labuschagne’s theatrics don’t sit all that comfortably with some Australian greats from earlier generations.
“Jeez it’s annoying … Just f***ing bat properly,” Shane Warne was heard saying about Labuschagne’s high-energy efforts to Andrew Symonds, who also expressed his exasperation.
Earlier in the summer Allan Border was a little more diplomatic but just as bemused. “That is odd behaviour,” he said, after Labuschagne walked to the middle in Adelaide and immediately began shouting “no run” even when he was leaving the ball.
The saving grace for both players is their actions appear entirely self-focused. These aren’t attention-seekers. All they want to do is plunder run after run and have apparently decided being positive in every movement they make at the crease – no matter how weird it might look – gives them the best chance to do that.
Labuschagne might have been aware a camera was on him while batting in the nets in the video below, but you can imagine this is standard behaviour even when the spotlight is turned off.
The other factor in Smith and Labuschagne’s favour is none of their opponents appear to have even the slightest problem with it.
That’s exactly how the majority of Australians feel too and given how successful the batting clones have been – and how vulnerable the rest of our line-up is currently – we can hardly afford to be picky about how they go about it.