Smith predicts Labuschagne can be a big player in future

Australian batting mainstay Steven Smith has predicted that rising star Marnus Labuschagne can be a future influential player if he keeps a level head after his breakthrough season.

Smith advised the 22-year-old Labuschagne to stay grounded after his meteoric rise in international cricket, which saw him post 896 runs at an average of 112, hitting four centuries -- two each against Pakistan and New Zealand -- this season so far.

He is now third in the ICC Test Rankings for batsmen behind Indian captain Virat Kohli and Smith.

"That's is the real challenge for him now, having that amazing series, there's going to be that expectation there now and it's about managing that," Smith was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

"The thing I like about Marnus is his willingness to learn and how quickly he picks things up, and if he continues to do that, he's going to be a huge player for Australia for a long time."