Langer’s clear vi­sion to win T20 World Cup

Mercury (Hobart) - - CRICKET -

MICHAEL RAM­SEY

HAV­ING trans­formed his side’s white- ball for­tunes, na­tional coach Justin Langer says Aus­tralia is “crys­tal clear” on its plans to win next year’s T20 World Cup.

Fri­day’s dom­i­nant 10-wicket vic­tory over Pak­istan in Perth handed Aus­tralia a 2-0 se­ries win and en­sured the Aussies will fin­ish the year un­beaten in T20 cricket.

Aaron Finch’s men have now won eight straight T20 in­ter­na­tion­als — their best win­ning streak since 2010 and a promis­ing sign that they’re on track for redemp­tion after be­ing bun­dled out of the 2016 World Cup in the group stage.

Hav­ing also re­cently dis­patched Sri Lanka in a 3-0 se­ries white­wash, Aus­tralia’s next T20 as­sign­ment is in South Africa in Fe­bru­ary.

Langer, who led the Perth Scorchers to three Big Bash ti­tles be­fore be­com­ing na­tional coach, in­tends to stick with his win­ning for­mula of five spe­cial­ist bowlers and six bats­men through to Aus­tralia host­ing the World Cup next Oc­to­ber.

“We’ve just got to make sure the boys play their roles re­ally well,” Langer said.

“Twelve months is a long way away. This time 12 months ago, we were the worst team in the world. But it’s re­ally good we’re play­ing good cricket. We’ve learned a lot about plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion. We’ve learned the value of that through the World Cup 50-over com­pe­ti­tion.

“The more we can keep these guys to­gether, the bet­ter.”

T20 cricket has taken rare prece­dence in Aus­tralia’s sched­ule ahead of the World Cup, and Langer said the greater con­ti­nu­ity was al­ready pay­ing sig­nif­i­cant div­i­dends.

“The sched­ule this year al­lows us to do it as well. In the past it’s been very dif­fi­cult to man­age play­ers through play­ing all forms of the game,” Langer said. “We un­der­stand the value of fo­cus­ing on some­thing, whether it’s short-term or long-term.”

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