Langer’s training style under scanner, coach says ‘leadership isn’t a popularity contest’

Sydney [Australia], January 30 (ANI): While there have been reports that the senior cricketers in the Australian camp were frustrated with Justin Langer’s coaching style, the former batsman and current head coach has squashed any such allegation saying it “couldn’t be further from the truth”.
Australia’s disappointing show against India in the Test series has seen many spots come under the scanner and according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, senior players find former all-rounder and assistant coach Andrew McDonald more approachable than Langer.
The Sydney Morning Herald cited sources saying that some senior cricketers are annoyed with Langer’s micro-management within the Australian camp. Questions have also been raised on his interaction with the bowlers.
But Langer denied micro-managing Australian bowlers saying that he never attends bowlers’ meetings or talks about the stats with them.
“Leadership isn’t a popularity contest. If players just want someone to tickle their stomachs all the time then I’m not doing my job,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Langer as saying.
“It’s actually the opposite of what happens. I never talk about statistics to the bowlers, ever. I don’t go to any of the bowlers’ meetings. That’s what the bowlers’ coach is meant to be doing,” he added.
During the fourth and final Test against India in Brisbane, Langer ordered players not to sneak toasted sandwich while they were on the field and this has supposedly irked some players.
“You’re walking on against India, we’re trying to win a Test match and one of our players walks on with a toasted sandwich in his hand,” said Langer. “I spoke to [the player] about it at length yesterday. I said, ‘How do you reckon it looks, mate?’ Is that not something I should say?”
After losing the four-match Test series 2-1 against India, Langer had credited the visiting side saying that nothing can be taken for granted and one should not ever underestimate the Indian cricket team.
Soon after the loss, former Australia spinner Shane Warne anticipated that the series defeat against India will have big repercussions for Langer’s side going forward.
“I think there’ll be a huge fallout from this. There’s not too many times that you lose to the second or third (choice) side,” quoted Warne as saying.
But Cricket Australia on Wednesday affirmed its support for skipper Tim Paine and coach Langer. The Australian Test squad would be captained by Paine and coached by Langer, the apex body confirmed while announcing the team for the South Africa tour. (ANI)

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