‘I only see trouble’ Australian cricket in gloom. Former players sigh about Justin Langer coaching days

Justin Langer’s stint as Australian coach had ended in controversial circumstances with Australian players leaking their dissatisfaction to the media. “Highly volatile” one report went. Another had him snatching a piece of sandwich from a player, there were reports of him kicking chairs, venting his anger and being too hard nosed for the current generation of players to handle.

Now, after Australia failed to reach the semis of the T20 world cup, comes the inevitable Pink Floydish sigh of ‘How I wish you were here’. Simon or Donnell, former allrounder, led the Langer call.

“The Langer thing is big in this,” O’Donnell said on SEN radio. “People didn’t like how that happened, and Justin Langer was much loved as a player and went about his business, he was hard nosed, and that unceremonious dumping of the coach and the players’ activity behind the scenes in that, that has left a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths. “When the player opinion started coming in is when this got murky,” O’Donnell said.

Justin Langer, Australia tour of India, INDia vs Australia ODI series, coach Justin Langer, India vs Australia schedule, January 2020 ODIs INDvAUS Justin Langer has been the Aussie team’s coach.

“Leadership can never be by negotiation, you can never be there because the players say they like you. You’re there because the performance has to be a certain level and there are certain standards you have to set to get there.” He couldn’t have been as successful as he was if they didn’t play for him, and they did.“(The players) turned, and now we’ll find out whether the turn and the players’ decision to turn is going to be any good for Australian cricket.

The next 12 months and massively important, not just for Andrew McDonald but for the players.”

Andrew McDonald is of course the current coach – gentle, friendly, easy going by all accounts, just the person the players apparently wanted. Australia beat Pakistan in a Test in Pakistan and won a Test in Sri Lanka. Then the lights went out on McDonald’s reign. A heavy loss at Galle Test followed, and from then on the stumbles have continued in white-ball cricket.

“I’m a great believer that you can’t lead by negotiation. You cannot lead by saying I’ll do it this way as long as you guys are happy.

Andrew McDonald must put his stamp on this and say, ‘this is me as a coach’,” O’Donnell said. “He’s part player appointed, so how does he do it? How is he their mate and their boss as well? When you muddy that line, I only see trouble.”

What do other former players like Michael Clarke, Mark Waugh, Ricky Ponting say?

Michael Clarke, former Australian captain, too turned in the knife. “I think Australians in general, on the biggest stage under the most amount of pressure, always put in on the line and have a crack. We’re not scared to lose. Yet we picked an aggressive 11 in this World Cup squad yet played so defensively. Very un-Australian,” Clarke had said on Sen radio.

So did Mark Waugh on the match day against Afghanistan on twitter, expressing his dismay. “Geeze Australia’s body language looks flat”. And “Starc should be playing. He is an aggressive wicket taking bowler who could easily rip through Afghanistan. Richardson more than a holding type bowler.”

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“It just doesn’t feel right,” Mark Waugh told RSN radio. “They’re not a happy camp and they look like they’re lacking confidence, they look so nervous. I don’t know what the answer is. It’s easy when you haven’t got anything on the line but I think the selectors have been very, very conservative for the last six months,” Waugh said. “It’s time to grow some kahunas, I reckon,” Waugh said. “We look so far off the pace it’s not funny,” he said.

Ricky Ponting has already said that he would like Glenn Maxwell to be the new T20 captain, replacing Aaron Finch.

“I think Australia have been just that little bit off in probably all departments, to be honest. They’ve been a little bit sloppy in the field. A lot of their bowling hasn’t been great, and their batters probably haven’t scored the runs that they should have either – particularly probably at the top of the order .., They obviously only have themselves to blame.”

Another captain Mark Taylor said captaincy should be given to the younger lot.

“Looking at replacing Aaron Finch, I think Australia should be looking at the next generation to start rebuilding this side altogether. Australia’s next major assignment in T20 cricket is the World Cup in two years time Bear in mind that David Warner will be almost 38, Steve Smith will be 35?, Matthew Wade’s probably out of contention because he’ll be 36,” he told Wide World of Sports.


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