By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Seven months after dominating Australia's summer of test cricket, Marnus Labuschagne is hoping to cement his place in the nation's limited overs sides on the white-ball tour of England.
The South Africa-born batsman will join a squad of 21 for a Twenty20 series in Southampton starting Sept. 4 followed by a one-day series in Manchester after a long lay-off from international cricket due to COVID-19.
Labuschagne, who made his ODI debut in India in January, averages over 50 from seven matches in the format but is yet to win selection in Aaron Finch's T20 side.
"It doesn't matter what the format is, I want to get better," Labuschagne told reporters in Brisbane on Wednesday.
"Definitely some areas in one-day cricket I'm continuing to develop are my bowling, making sure I get a bit more consistent and become a better option for the skipper with the ball in those middle overs.
"I also want to keep working on my batting at the death."
COVID-19 scuppered his plans to play for English county side Glamorgan but Labuschagne kept himself busy at Cricket Australia's training centre in Brisbane.
"It's been good to have five months to work on (short format) skills - whereas if I was playing county cricket then you might not have the opportunity to work on those specific skills," added the 26-year-old righthander.
Boasting an average of 63.43 from his 14 tests, Labuschagne has already been touted as a future leader of the Australian team by former captain Ricky Ponting.
However, Labuschagne said he was not thinking about leadership roles and was happy for his bat to do the talking.
"I love being a leader but I don't think that means you need a title," he said.
"It's just about ... enjoying my cricket and making sure that I keep staying consistent scoring runs for Australia - because that's my job."
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)