Why major Langer issue won’t hamper Ashes


Newly-minted Test captain Pat Cummins says Australian coach Justin Langer has continued his stepped-back approach to the job heading into the summer’s Ashes series.

Langer was confronted last summer by reports of player discontent in his dressing room.

The situation escalated to the point Cricket Australia mediated a meeting with Langer and senior players Cummins, Tim Paine, and Aaron Finch, where it was agreed the head coach would delegate more responsibility to his assistants.

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The first real acid test for his new approach was the Twenty20 World Cup, which Australia came from the clouds to win in the UAE.

“JL has been great,” Cummins told media today.

“We’ve had two weeks’ quarantine and then a week here preparing. Just like the World Cup, he’s certainly still head coach.

“The environment he creates, not only for the other coaches but the players around them, really empowers them – (Michael) Di Venuto takes charge of the batting, Andrew McDonald takes charge of the bowling.

“You have really good, clear roles for everyone in the team. He’s in some ways really taken a step back and let the players dictate the environment they want.

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“It worked incredibly well over at the World Cup. Hopefully it continues for this summer, he’s been great so far.”

This Ashes series could be Langer’s last in charge of the team.

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His contract with Cricket Australia expires mid-2022, after a mooted tour of Pakistan in March and April.

But there’s speculation Langer may call it quits after the Ashes, particularly if the Aussies beat England.

He is yet to give an indication of whether he will continue as head coach or walk away.

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