Justin Langer, Australian head coach said that it is none of his business to think what India head coach Ravi Shastri must be saying to motivate his players after India recorded their lowest total ever in Test cricket a few days ago in Adelaide as they lost the 1st Test inside three days.
The former Australian opener Justin Langer does ‘empathize’ with his opponents for getting bundled out for 36 in the second innings of the day-night Test but at the same time, he does not want to take the ‘stress’ of being in Ravi Shastri’s shoes.
Justin Langer Emphasize With Opposition But Glad India Are Under Stress
He was asked for his opinion what would he have done had he been in place of Ravi Shastri, Justin Langer said he is ‘glad’ that it’s India who are under a slot of stress and not Australia.
“None of my business. I have had enough with stresses,” Langer said during a virtual media conference organized by series broadcasters Sony Network.
“I empathize with the opposition and I know what it feels like. If India are feeling any stress, I am glad they are and not us over the Christmas weekend.”
India are under immense pressure after suffering the humiliating defeat at Adelaide inside two and a half days and then also losing pacer Mohammed Shami to an injury besides captain Virat Kohli, who heads back home for the birth of his first child.
Justin Langer did admit that their absence in the next three Tests would be an advantage for his team but the focus firmly remains on its own planning.
“Of course, whatever sport you play, if you take out two of your stars, Virat Kohli is an all-time great player I think and Shami is a real glue for the team because he is so miserly and skilful. It surely gives us some advantage.
“We need to start strongly on the first day and build pressure on Rahane as he is the new captain of India for this series. So the processes don’t change. Whenever you take out best players of any cricket team, it weakens them and that’s the reality,” he said.
India will be captained by Ajinkya Rahane in last 3 Tests in Virat Kohli’s absence. India will likely bring in 5 changes handing over debuts to Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj while KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja will be back in Test fold.
Justin Langer: Fingers Crossed For David Warner And Have Faith In Tim Paine
While dashing opener David Warner is ruled out of the second Test as he is yet to recover from a groin injury, Justin Langer couldn’t say with finality whether the dashing opener will be available for the third Test in Sydney.
“I am very hopeful. ….as I said for the last three weeks or so, he will be doing everything possible to get back out onto the ground, so fingers crossed.
But he does have trouble running? “He is starting (to get) a bit of trouble running at full speed, when he gets that back and feels confident with it, of course he will come back into our team, so we will just monitor him regularly and fingers crossed that he will be back,” Justin Langer said.
Tim Paine’s batting has been criticized as Australians look for a wicket-keeper like Adam Gilchrist, but the coach has enormous faith in his skipper’s abilities and the leadership qualities he has shown in the past two years.
“You think about Adam Gilchrist, I guess, who transformed the game in a sense, and that is why Adam Gilchrist is an all-time great player because he transformed the game. I have got enormous faith in Tim Paine.
“…whether it’s his wicket-keeping, his captaincy, his batting, I have said publicly and privately for almost the last year, he is our most important player, because he is a lead wicket-keeper, his leadership on and off the field is incredible.”
“….we saw he can play, how well he batted in first innings under pressure in Adelaide, probably changed the game actually with the run-out of Virat Kohli, so he is a great player, great leader and I literally love having him in our team,” Justin Langer stated.
Though Tim Paine is yet to score a century in 32 Tests where he averages 33.4, he has led Australia in 20 Tests and Australia have won 11 of them.