Justin Langer admits to being “hurt” and “confused” by criticism of his style, but Australia’s cricket mentor concedes he’s not yet a “great coach”.
Preparing his team for the first of five T20 matches against the West Indies in St Lucia on Saturday, Langer said he was shocked by reports of “brutal feedback” from his players.
He addressed matters with his team at a recent Gold Coast camp and left the two-day gathering “feeling like Superman”.
“Everyone’s absolutely flying at the moment – there’s a great spirit over here,” Langer said.
However, while Langer admitted he was far from the finished product as a coach, he was taken aback by sudden criticism of his methods.
“If I’m completely honest, I was really hurt by some of it,” he said.
“Maybe I’m being a sook, but in three years (since his appointment) I hadn’t heard from the chairman, the Cricket Australia board, I hadn’t heard from the two CEOs, I hadn’t heard from the high performance managers, I hadn’t heard from any of the people I work with, and I certainly hadn’t heard from any of the players, which had been so widely reported.
“In fact, the feedback I’ve been given for three years has been overwhelmingly positive of the role that I’ve been able to play as the coach, but more importantly, where the team’s come and that’s what it’s about.”
Justin Langer has no intention of quitting his job as Australia’s cricket coach despite negative feedback about his style. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Langer remains committed to his job and wants a new contract, provided he has the support of Cricket Australia.
“I think everything’s moving in the right direction … (but) we’re not a great team yet – that’s the truth,” he said.
“I’m not a great coach yet, I’m aspiring to be a great coach, and I’m working towards it, and I hope all the players are doing the same thing so that we can become a great Australian cricket team.”
Langer has some pleasant selection headaches in the Caribbean, with a host of players putting their hand up for selection with impressive performances in two intra-squad matches.
He seems set to include more than one all-rounder in Saturday’s team to give the Australians additional flexibility with the bat and ball.
That’s good news for veteran all-rounder Dan Christian, who is poised to make his first T20 international appearance for Australia in almost four years.
“He’s so good to have around the team,” Langer said of the 38-year-old Christian.
“He’s a fantastic bloke, he’s got an amazing set of hands in the field, he’s clever with the ball, he’s experienced, and we’ve seen throughout the Big Bash and all around the world … he hits the ball as cleanly as anyone.
“He’s probably a bit nervous … (but) so excited about playing for Australia again, and I just love seeing that.”
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