Langer will make us proud again
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.”