Fast-rising Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne considers Jasprit Bumrah as the toughest to deal among Indian bowlers and is looking forward to have himself tested against Virat Kohli’s men in their upcoming Test series scheduled to be held later this year.

Since the Ashes last year, Labuschagne has had a dream run across formats, especially in Test cricket. In 14 Tests, he has scored 1459 runs at 63.43 including four centuries and eight fifties.

In seven ODIs, he has made 305 runs at 50.83 including one century and 2 half-centuries.

“They are all good bowlers but it is hard to get past Jasprit Bumrah,” Labuschagne, who has played in one Test against India, told news agency PTI. “He has the ability to consistently bowl around 140 kmph and swing the ball when conditions are suitable. He is also able to angle the ball back in at the stumps. You always want to test yourself against the best. Jasprit is probably the leader of that attack.”

The 26-year-old also has respect for veteran Ishant Sharma. “Ishant has been very good during the last couple of years. Coming over here and angling the ball back into right handers, that would be a good challenge for us also,” he said.

His initiation into international cricket has been a fairytale ride but for Labuschagne, managing the expectations will be the biggest challenge now.

A potential limited-overs tour to England in September will be his next international assignment but in Tests, his next challenge will be India who returned home with a 2-1 historic series win the last time they were in Australia.

“In terms of a great first year, it was an amazing summer and hopefully, I can better that this time. Hopefully, against a side like India, testing yourself against one of the best bowling attacks in world cricket at the moment,” he said. “I have played one Test against India in Sydney. I have a bit of experience of facing their attack in that Test and later when I came to India for white-ball series,” he added.

The Indian team will do their homework against Labuschagne, regarded as one of the brightest talents in world cricket and the youngster knows he will have to be a step ahead of his opponents.

“Naturally, when you do well, then people start picking your game, working on how you play. So, I have to make sure that I understand my game well, so when Indian bowlers come at me, I have to ensure that I am one step ahead,” he said.

Lanugchagne has been compared with teammate Steve Smith for his hunger to score runs and having a prolific run-getter as his guide will certainly make him a better player.

“I have learnt from him (Smith) and the way he goes about his game and added that to my game which makes me better as a player. We both love talking about cricket and batting so I am lucky enough to learn from him,” Labuschange said.

“One thing I have learnt from Steve is the ability to play the conditions. Knowing which bowlers to take on and not just playing a generic game,” he added.

Labuschagne’s surreal consistency over the past one-year also drew praise from batting legend Sachin Tendulkar and the Australian says he’s eager to meet the Indian.

“For someone (Tendulkar) of his calibre speaking highly of me is an amazing feeling. I haven’t yet met him in person. We missed each other on a few occasion. Can’t wait to meet him as there is a lot to learn from a player of his stature,” he said.

Labuschagne is yet to play a T20I and will certainly aim to make his mark in the shortest format too and certainly in IPL too.

“I can only do well in the format or team I am playing for. I have got opportunity in ODI cricket (average of 50.83 and strike rate of 94.42) and I have been able to make most of that at No 4 so far,” he said.

“Personally, if I get to play in the IPL, I will put my best foot forward. I have had a taste of playing in India in those conditions. Playing in IPL would be a great privilege,” he added.

Labuschagne is also being projected as a future Australia captain, a responsibility he would gladly accept if the opportunity arises in the future.

“I think it’s every kid’s dream to captain their country. So, if I say that I wouldn’t want that, it wouldn’t be true. I would like to captain my country as it will be a great privilege and honour,” he said.

He continued, “But right now, it’s just about making sure that I focus being Australia’s No 3 in Tests and No.4 in ODIs. I want to make those spots my own and contribute to Australia winning matches. While doing this, if an opportunity comes to captain Australia, hopefully I will be ready then and take that in my stride.”

While Labuschagne is a cricket geek, he also is deeply religious and has a verse of Bible inscribed on the back of his bat.

“Religion gives me perspective. At some point, I can be obsessive about cricket but there are more important things in life rather than only playing the game that I love. And I am happy that I have been brought up in such a manner,” he said.