Langer will make us proud again

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Opinion - RUS­SELL GOULD

JUSTIN Langer is not the mes­siah sent to save Aus­tralian cricket but is un­com­pro­mis­ing, highly ac­count­able and the right man to take con­trol of the sport’s im­me­di­ate for­tunes.

That’s the opin­ion of Test greats Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist, who have signed up to lead Fox­tel’s cricket cov­er­age and who fully en­dorse their for­mer team­mate’s abil­ity to make Aus­tralians “proud” of their team again.

With the spot­light set to shine on the new-look na­tional team and their be­hav­iour when they re­turn to ac­tion for a one-day series in Eng­land, Warne and Gilchrist said Cricket Aus­tralia had signed the right man.

“I know what Justin is like as a per­son,” Warne said.

“He’s a hard worker, he’s dis­ci­plined, he in­stils tough­ness into guys, he’ll have great val­ues with the group.

“As a fig­ure­head he’s a good ap­point­ment, and it has come at the right time. Hope­fully, he’ll help the team make us all proud of the Aus­tralian cricket team again.”

Gilchrist spent plenty of re­cent time with Langer be­fore and af­ter his ap­point­ment and said the new coach could hardly hide his en­thu­si­asm for the task at hand.

Amid lin­ger­ing angst from an Aus­tralian sport­ing pub­lic des­per­ate to em­brace a na­tional team which was on the nose, Gilchrist said Langer would en­sure player be­hav­iour didn’t wa­ver.

“He doesn’t claim to be, and he’s not, the mes­siah who can just come in and make ev­ery­thing per­fect again,” Gilchirst said. “It’s go­ing to be a long, chal­leng­ing bat­tle. But in the big­ger pic­ture, there is go­ing to be a re­build look­ing at the things he has iden­ti­fied, like trust and re­spect.

“He’s un­com­pro­mis­ing when it comes to be­hav­iours, and that’s pretty much what cul­ture is, it’s be­hav­iour. He’ll cer­tainly set high stan­dards and if you don’t meet those, you are go­ing to find your­self in a bit of trou­ble.

“I think there is an op­por­tu­nity to re­set some of the pa­ram­e­ters the way the team be­haves and acts, on and off the field, and I think there could be some re­ally en­cour­ag­ing things to come out of it.”

Warne said Langer must sur­round him­self with the right peo­ple “be­cause there is no one who knows ev­ery­thing about the game. You need help.”

But Gilchirst said the new coach, a long­time and suc­cess­ful men­tor in West­ern Aus­tralia, would leave no stone un­turned.

“I couldn’t shut him up the day af­ter he was ap­pointed. He was so ex­cited and he’s so pas­sion­ate about it. I think that’s what the Aus­tralian pub­lic are go­ing to love,” Gilchirst said.

“His pas­sion oozes through but I think what he has learned and is con­tin­u­ing to learn is to bal­ance that up with what it means in a prac­ti­cal sense. He’s a beau­ti­ful per­son but he has de­vel­oped how to bal­ance his skills across a group of peo­ple.”

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