Australia head coach Justin Langer has taken a short break from coaching as he will not travel to India for the three-match ODI series which starts next week. In his absence, senior assistant coach Andrew McDonald – he is also the head coach of IPL franchise Rajasthan Royal Royals – will do the coaching duties. McDonald had joined Langer’s backroom staff in October 2019 and has been given the freedom to take a break while he does coaching in franchise cricket.
McDonald has had a successful stint as coach at different levels and would hope to continue his run with the international team as well. He has also worked with Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL but he is the head coach at Rajasthan Royals.
This is the first time that Langer has taken a break from coaching. He had joined Australia’s coaching staff in May 2018 and has had a successful stint so far. Under him, Australia successfully retained Ashes 2019 in England and recently dominated Pakistan and New Zealand, winning five Test matches on the trot.
Though Australia suffered their first-ever Test series defeat against India when Virat Kohli and co defeated the hosts 2-1 in 2018/19. At the World Cup, Australia made it to the semi-final where they lost to England.
While Langer will miss the India series, the visitors have their full-strength squad. Led by Aaron Finch, the squad includes regulars Steven Smith, David Warner, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. Josh Hazlewood is also back in the ODI team while the selectors handed maiden ODI call-up to Marnus Labuschagne. Ahead of the series, Sean Abbott was replaced by D’Arcy Short.
The first ODI of the series will be played in Mumbai on January 14. The next two ODIs will be played on January 14 and 19 in Rajkot and Bengaluru, respectively.
The hosts had also named a solid squad with Rohit Sharma coming back after taking a rest for three T20Is against Sri Lanka. There could also be a case when Hardik Pandya might also return for ODIs, further strengthening the squad.
On their last tour to India, Australia came back after losing the first two ODIs and won the five-match series 3-2.