Cricket news: Justin Langer explosive allegations, awkward insight, players are fed up, dressing room revolt

Justin Langer needs to change his ways or risk alienating his players even further, according to a veteran of Australian cricket.

Veteran cricket journalist Robert Craddock says Justin Langer needs to relax a bit after allegations players were becoming fed up with the Australia coach’s hard-line attitude.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the weekend dressing room sources indicated Langer’s intensity and overbearing management style were wearing thin with some stars as a tense series defeat against India at home capped off a draining 2020.

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Craddock believes Langer needs to adjust because the traits that made him so successful as a top order batsman across his 105 Tests don’t necessarily translate into coaching.

“Justin just has to work on being more soothing,” Craddock said on SEN Breakfast. “Intensity drove him to be the cricketer that he was, but that was something he could harness within himself.

“When that’s transferred onto others in a dressing room, at times it can be quite awkward.

“He was raised in a hard era, an abrasive era. It’s a much more sensitive world (these days), but he has to adapt, because it’s much easier for him to adapt to the team than the team to adapt to him.”

During a lengthy tour of the UK in 2019, Langer had good mate Ricky Ponting to turn to as an assistant during the World Cup, and former captain Steve Waugh was embedded within the squad as a mentor during the Ashes.

Amid reports players are seeking counsel from assistant Andrew McDonald more so than Langer, Craddock suggested the coach could benefit from a similar arrangement to what was implemented in 2019.

“In England, when the team was winning he had Stephen Waugh there with him, and Ricky Ponting,” Craddock said.

“I think that would have alleviated the stress factor, giving players someone else to go to, and giving Justin someone to go to himself.”

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However, Langer rejected suggestions his relationship with the players is on shaky ground, telling Nine newspapers on the weekend it “couldn’t be further from the truth”.

“If players just want someone to tickle their stomachs all the time then I’m not doing my job,” he said.

Langer was a central figure in fly-on-the-wall documentary The Test, which premiered on Amazon last year, and his intensity was on full display during robust discussions with senior player Usman Khawaja.

Khawaja confronted the coach after a net session in the UAE, arguing Langer’s instructions and rules were too stifling, prompting the 50-year-old to hit back and say the batsmen could run their own batting drills when they stopped collapsing all the time.

Khawaja also told Langer players were “walking on eggshells” because they were intimidated by him.

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Sydney Sixers Top BBL Ladder As Heat Pose Looming Threat

sydney sixers

Fans are pumped-up as the Sydney Sixers are up for a compelling finish to the top the BBL ladder. This goes as they seek to defend the title they have won for the second time last year.

Last Tuesday night, the Sixers graced over the Melbourne Stars at the MCG as they confirmed first place with home-court advantage for the finals with five-wicket bonus points.

This win means they will be hosting Perth Scorchers in the first-versus-second ‘qualifier’ final on Saturday. The winner on the upcoming match will be advancing directly to the season decider.

However, the said match will be played at Canberra’s Manuka Oval due to the travel restrictions mandated around Sydney, which has not hosted a BBL match for the entirety of the season.

Meanwhile, Brisbane Heat and Adelaide Striker will meet in the ‘eliminator’ round at the Gabba on Friday. Sydney Thunder will be hosting the winner of the aforementioned match in Canberra the following day.

According to Sixers’ fast bowler Ben Dwarshuis, “It is pretty close and I think anyone can win it from here, so the placings are really important. If you’re fourth or fifth you’ve got to win four games in a row to end up winning it. Finishing top is a big advantage and hopefully, we can make the most of it.”

He uttered that his teammates are “optimistic” home ground games in Canberra as they could boast a 2-0 record for the season.

“We would’ve taken a lot out of those games in regards to what works on that particular wicket and that size ground. Traditionally the wicket might play a bit slower and be a bit more spinning friendly, and I think we’ve got some really talented spinners. We’ve got some quicks who take the pace off the ball really nicely and bowl some nice cutters, so I think it’s a wicket that we can definitely go well on and hopefully go the whole way.” Dwarshuis said.

On the other hand, Captain Callum Ferguson from the Sydney Thunder has been equally as buoyant about the prospect of a home final in Canberra for his side.

He even said, “We get really well supported there, it’s a second home for us.”

Also, batsman of Brisbane Heat Marnus Labuschagne, who has become an increasingly dangerous part-time leg-spinner, confirmed his side was right in the title hunt after beating the Scorchers by six runs on Tuesday.

That is even though the Heat need to win three straight knockouts matches to reach the finals on February 6.

On an interview, Labuschagne said “It feels great to actually get into the finals; we have been close the last few years. And it wasn’t the perfect game today but that is also an exciting thing for us going into the finals — that we haven’t put the perfect game in yet and we snuck in. We’re a big threat.”

(Image source: ABC News)