Australian coach Justin Langer is eager to see how his team cope-up in a pressure situation as the ODI tri-series reaches its business end. The washed-out match between Australia and South Africa in Barbados means the 50-overs World champions will have to avoid defeat in their last game against the West Indies. A loss will eliminate them from the series while a win will see them qualify for the final.
“All one-day internationals are pressure games, but certainly in this instance … there’s real pressure,” the caretaker coach said.
“It’s game on. We haven’t done ourselves any favours in a sense that we haven’t got ourselves automatically into the final like we would have liked, so it’s good to see guys under pressure.
“And this will be a little bit more pressure than a normal one-day international on Tuesday.”
While the legendary batsman is new to international coaching, he is no stranger to coaching. His Perth Scorchers have played in three KFC Big Bash League finals under his watch, winning two of them, while his WA Warriors triumphed in the 2014 Matador Cup final.
Langer said that they will try to keep things simple against West Indies and just enjoy the cricket.
“I always believe the harder you try, the worse it gets,” he said.
“If we beat (the Windies it will be) on skill, not emotion, and not getting caught up in the actual game.
“Sometimes in big games what you tend to do is over-analyse it. You want everything to be perfect but often … the less you can put in their mind, the more you can just let them go and play (the better).
“We don’t have team meetings in Twenty20 cricket (with the Scorchers). We might have one or two dots up on the board.
“And people will talk about all this analysis of different oppositions. Well, I must be doing it wrong at the Scorchers, because we tend to go the opposite way. We want to simplify it, particularly for young minds.
“And for senior players, they’ve been there before. We don’t need to complicate it for them. They’ve got their cues, they know their processes.
“So we’ll just try and keep it as simple as possible and hopefully they can go out and play and enjoy the experience of playing at this magnificent ground.”
Speaking about young leg-spinner Zampa, who was replaced by Scott Boland in the washed-out game, Langer said that the spinner has been performing decently in the series. The spinner conceded 60 runs in 7 overs against the Windies, but Langer was not worried about that and said that the spinner got his line and length a little bit wrong.
“I think he’s been pretty good. He probably just got his lines a bit wrong the other night,” the coach said.
“He went a bit wide and with some of those big West Indians, if you just get it in their arc as we saw, they’re going to belt you out of the ground.
“But he’s learning and he was the first to admit after the game that he perhaps didn’t get his strategy right.
“And he’s usually really good, he’s a really competitive young bloke.
“We’ll work out what the best way to beat the West Indies is. Whether it’s with a legspinner or four quicks – which is always so successful in Australia for us – we’ll work all that out in the next 24 hours.”