Cricket

'I haven't heard him talk about not continuing', Steve Waugh on Justin Langer potentially quitting after Ashes

  • Press Trust of India
  • November 17th, 2021
  • 17:34:40 IST
File image of Justin Langer. Twitter/ @cricketcomau

File image of Justin Langer. Twitter/ @cricketcomau

Sydney: Australian great Steve Waugh feels Justin Langer will continue as the side's head coach beyond the Ashes series, insisting that the former opener is not the one to "back away from a challenge."

Waugh's comments came after another former Australia captain Michael Clarke said Langer would step down as coach if Australia add an Ashes victory to the T20 World Cup.

I talk to him regularly and he's never spoken to me about stepping down or backing away from a challenge, Waugh was quoted as saying by 'Sydney Morning Herald'.

Waugh, who played alongside Langer and also worked with him in the Australian set-up in 2019, feels there has been intense scrutiny around the 50-year-old's job.

His whole career he was up against (it), he was always the player on the edge, the next one to be dropped.

"He's used to being on edge and performing. I think in a lot of ways it motivates him and we've seen when you think he's down, he comes back and succeeds."

Langer, who was appointed as Australia's chief coach in the aftermath of the infamous 2018 ball-tampering scandal, helped deliver the country's maiden T20 World Cup title on Sunday.

Back in the country, he has now turned his attention to the iconic Ashes series, starting December 8.

"Looking forward to the Ashes, that's one of the highlights as a captain and a coach. To win a series in Australia, he'd be focusing on that. I haven't heard him talk about not continuing on. He loves a challenge," Waugh said.

The former Test opener's job had been under the scanner since Australia's disappointing loss to India in Tests earlier this year but he was backed by Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive officer Nick Hockley.

There were also reports of a rift in the Australian dressing room between the players and Langer.

Waugh feels the players should take responsibility for wins and losses rather than the coach.

I'd like to think the players take responsibility for winning and losing, not the coach, Waugh said.

When I played cricket, sure, you had the coach, but I know as a player you had to take responsibility for winning or losing. You're the one out there for six hours a day playing a Test match, not the coach.

I think there has been far too much emphasis on Justin Langer's performance rather than the players. Realistically (against) India last year they should have won that series comfortably."

Australia lost the Border-Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year to an Indian side that was missing several of its top players, including skipper Virat Kohli.

India were missing all their stars. We bowled them out for 36 in Adelaide and to lose from there I don't think you can point the finger at the coach and say it's the coach's fault. It's great Justin's won (a T20 World Cup), that can only be a positive. I think there's been way too much talk about the coach.

Langer, who had guided Australia to an Ashes triumph in 2019 in the UK, is contracted until mid-2022.
Waugh feels Langer will understand if Cricket Australia decide to replace him.

"He would see it as no different to the players. The players get renegotiated pretty much every year, said the 56-year-old former captain.

He's man enough to realise if you don't perform, you don't get picked as a player.

It's exactly the same thing [as a coach]. He knows there's no free rides. What he and Tim Paine and Aaron Finch have done since Cape Town has been a pretty amazing transformation."

Updated Date: November 17, 2021 17:34:40 IST

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