Hurt Justin Langer keen to continue as Australia coach despite criticism | Cricket News
GROS ISLET: Hurt by the criticism that has followed him ever since an injury-ravaged India upstaged Australia early this year, coach Justin Langer said most of it confused him.
In January this year, Australia lost the home Test series 1-2 against an under-strength India, who made a heroic comeback under Ajinkya Rahane’s leadership after losing the opening match in Adelaide.
The visiting side battled the absence of star batsman and regular skipper Virat Kohli along with a spate of injuries to triumph in the series. Langer and Australia Test skipper Tim Paine drew heavy criticism for floundering tactically against a hampered rival.
“Some of the things I was reading were a bit confusing actually. If I’m completely honest I was really hurt by some of it. The feedback I’ve been given for three years has been overwhelmingly positive of the role that I’ve been able to play as a coach,” Langer said ahead of the T20 series opener against West Indies here on Saturday.
Australia are currently touring West Indies for a five-match T20 series and three ODIs. Langer admitted that he didn’t like losing to India but was committed to his job.
“If the board and the CEO and high performance manager believe I’m the right person to keep leading us forward, absolutely. I absolutely love my job,” he said.
“I didn’t like losing to India in the amazing series, no one likes losing. I’m absolutely committed, I love my job, I love the Australian cricket team, I love the players and I love Australian cricket.
“They’re the things I value most in my life. Hopefully I’ve done a really good job the last three years, that’s been the feedback. Long may that continue.”
Langer was appointed as Australia’s head coach in 2018 on a four-year contract, replacing Darren Lehmann.
The former left-handed opener refused to rate himself as a “great coach”, insisting that the team’s focus remains on doing well in this year’s ICC World T20 in the UAE and the home Ashes series against England starting December.
“We’re not a great team yet and that’s what we’re all aspiring to. Like I’m aspiring to be a great coach,” he said.
“I’m not a great coach yet, I’m aspiring to be a great coach. I’m working towards it and I hope all the players are doing the same thing,” added the 50-year-old.