Justin Langer | Sportzwiki

Justin Langer

Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. Image: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. Image: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
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Marcus Harris Is Confident That Tim Paine Has Got The Support Of His Teammates

Marcus Harris, an Australia batsman, is confident that Tim Paine has the support of all the players, saying that the former Test skipper and head coach Justin Langer are yet to address the squad.

Marcus Harris also revealed that the playing group found out about Tim Paine’s decision to step down just 30 minutes before he faced in the media on Friday.

Marcus Harris (AP Photo)
Marcus Harris (AP Photo)

Marcus Harris: News About Tim Paine’s Scandal Was A Shock

Marcus Harris, as expected, got the nod for Ashes 2021/22 in the absence of concussion-hit Will Pucovski and is expected to open alongside David Warner, fresh from his exploits in helping Australia win the Twenty20 World Cup.

“There wasn’t much time to digest it, but it was a shock,” Harris told reporters on Wednesday.

“Tim’s obviously been a greater leader around the group, he’s always been really good to me and my family – our hearts went out for Tim, and Bonnie, and the kids and his family. As long as it’s COVID-safe I’ll give him a hug,” he added.

Australia Captain Tim Paine has stepped down from the role (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)
Australia Captain Tim Paine has stepped down from the role (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)

Tim Paine stepped down as Australia’s Test skipper on Friday after it emerged that he had sent an unsolicited explicit image of himself along with a string of lewd messages to a female co-worker in 2017, months before he was made captain, following the Sandpaper Gate scandal where then skipper Steve Smith was axed for a year.

Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned by Cricket Australia (CA) for different duration, not exceeding one year, over their role in the ball-tampering episode — also termed Sandpaper-gate scandal — in the 2018 Test series in South Africa.

“He’s done a really good job in the last few years, under tough circumstances. You’d probably still argue that he’s still the best gloveman in the country, and he still played some really important innings last summer against India. I know he’s got the support of all the players,” said Harris, who has played all his 10 Tests under Paine’s captaincy.

The Test opener said the players have reached out to the wicketkeeper individually, but Justin Langer and Tim Paine haven’t addressed the squad directly. Marcus Harris, who has played all of his 10 Test matches under the leadership of Tim Paine, said that he has the support of all players and also mentioned that he personally messaged him.

“Probably everyone’s spoken to him personally, I sent him a message the other day and spoke to him a little bit. Obviously Painey’s a very popular member of the group.”

In September, Tim Paine, who had gone under the knife to fix a bulging disc in his neck, is the only stumper in Australia’s 15-player squad for the Ashes, which was announced before he stepped down. The development comes weeks ahead of the five-Test Ashes series against traditional rivals England. The first Test begins in Brisbane on December 8.

Marcus Harris: Australia Have Got Leaders In The Group

Marcus Harris is confident there are several players in the squad who can step up and lead the side.

“People were a bit shocked, but we’ve got leaders around our group – so it’s not ideal, but someone’s going to have to step up and lead from the front and there’s plenty of people who can do that job.”

Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)
Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

Tim Paine is expected to play an intra-squad match, starting December 1, but they’re still isn’t clear if he will be included in the playing XI after the recent developments.

Cricket Australia is yet to name a successor for Tim Paine, but senior pace bowler Pat Cummins and swashbuckling batter Steve Smith remain the front-runners for the post. Marcus Harris said Australia has many potential leaders in the team to take over the captaincy from Tim Paine. Marnus Labuschagne revealed his captaincy ambitions just this week but is yet to lead his state and has played only 18 Tests.

Pat Cummins appears favourite to take over the vacant Test captaincy with the Ashes series looming. Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins appears favourite to take over the vacant Test captaincy with the Ashes series looming. Credit: AAP
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Pat Cummins And Steve Smith Interviewed By CA Panel For Test Leadership Roles

A Cricket Australia panel has interviewed Pat Cummins and Steve Smith for the positions of captain and vice-captain of the Australian Test team.

This brings Cricket Australia a step closer to unveiling star fast bowler Pat Cummins as Australia’s 47th Test captain and returning Steve Smith to a leadership position for the first time since the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

Steve Smith and Pat Cummins
Steve Smith and Pat Cummins

Pat Cummins and Steve Smith Interviewed For Captaincy Roles By Cricket Australia After Tim Paine Stepped Down As Skipper

The interviews follow the dramatic resignation of Tim Paine from the captaincy when his exchange of lewd text messages with a former Cricket Tasmania staffer was revealed last Friday. The pair appeared by video link before a committee comprising selectors George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide, chief executive Nick Hockley, chair Richard Freudenstein and board member Mel Jones.

Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)
Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)

Pat Cummins and Steve Smith are at a quarantined training camp on the Gold Coast ahead of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane. Pat Cummins and Steve Smith have been widely seen as a standout leadership duo, given that as a former captain himself, Steve Smith will be capable of stepping in whenever Pat Cummins is forced to rest because of the rigours and injury risks of fast bowling.

Steve Smith May Be Made Vice-Captain As He Would Return To A Leadership Role For The First Time Since Sandpaper Gate Scandal In 2018

If Steve Smith is indeed made the vice-captain, then he would return to a leadership role for the first time since the Sandpaper Gate in 2018. Steve Smith captained Australia in 34 Tests prior to 2018, in which he guided them to 18 victories, 10 defeats, and six draws.

Pat Cummins and Steve Smith appeared before a committee comprising selectors George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide, chief executive Nick Hockley, chair Richard Freudenstein and board member Mel Jones. Australia head coach Justin Langer is not a part of the Cricket Australia (CA) panel to pick the next Test skipper.

Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)
Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

Fast bowler Pat Cummins is favourite to replace Tim Paine as Test captain ahead of the Ashes series, which starts in Brisbane on December 8. The front runner for the top job in Australian cricket is vice-captain and pacer Pat Cummins, while former captain Steve Smith has previously expressed his desire to lead the side again.

Following Tim Paine’s resignation from the Test captaincy,  doubts have been cast over his role in the side, with many calling for him to be dropped. Matthew Wade, Josh Inglis, and Alex Carey are the candidates to replace Tim Paine if he isn’t allowed to play.

Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)
Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)
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The Treatment Afforded To Tim Paine By Cricket Australia Has Been Appalling: Cricket Tasmania Chairman Andrew Gaggin

Cricket Tasmania chairman Andrew Gaggin has condemned Cricket Australia’s “appalling” treatment of Tim Paine, saying he should never have been put in a position where he felt he had to resign as Australia’s Test captain.

Last Friday, Tim Paine stood down from the role after sexually explicit text messages he sent to a female former colleague at Cricket Tasmania in 2017 were leaked to the media.

Cricket Tasmania Chairman Andrew Gaggin has slammed Cricket Australia for their treatment of former captain Tim Paine. Picture: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES
Cricket Tasmania Chairman Andrew Gaggin has slammed Cricket Australia for their treatment of former captain Tim Paine. Picture: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES

Cricket Tasmania Chairman Andrew Gaggin: Treatment Afforded To Australian Test Captain Tim Paine By Cricket Australia Is Appalling

The 36-year-old wicketkeeper, who has represented Tasmania since the 2005/06 season, had been exonerated by a Cricket Australia integrity review into the matter soon after becoming Test captain in 2018.

“In conversations, I have had in recent days it is clear that the anger amongst the Tasmania cricket community and the general public is palpable,” Gaggin said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Tim Paine has been a beacon for Australian cricket over the past four years and instrumental in salvaging the reputation of the national team after the calamity of Cape Town.

Cricket Tasmania condemns ‘appalling’ treatment of Tim Paine (Reuters Photo)
Cricket Tasmania condemns ‘appalling’ treatment of Tim Paine (Reuters Photo)

“The treatment afforded to the Australian Test captain by Cricket Australia has been appalling, and the worst since Bill Lawry over 50 years ago.”

Bill Lawry was notoriously sacked as Australia captain and dropped from the team ahead of the final Test of the 1970/71 Ashes series, only discovering his fate when informed by reporters. After Tim Paine’s resignation, Cricket Tasmania said that the former female employee had complained to them about the messages only after she had been charged with stealing from the organization.

Despite relinquishing the captaincy, Tim Paine still wants to be considered for selection as wicketkeeper for the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane on December 8. The decision will be made by a three-man selection panel comprising George Bailey, coach Justin Langer, and the recently appointed Tony Dodemaide.

Pat Cummins Frontrunner To Replace Tim Paine As Test Skipper

On Saturday, Cricket Australia chair Richard Freudenstein said that the current leadership team would have sacked Tim Paine had they been in charge in 2018.

“At a time when CA should have supported Tim, he was evidently regarded as dispensable,” Gaggin continued.

Pat Cummins appears favourite to take over the vacant Test captaincy with the Ashes series looming. Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins appears favourite to take over the vacant Test captaincy with the Ashes series looming. Credit: AAP

“The Cricket Tasmania board reaffirmed its view that Paine should not have been put in a position where he felt the need to resign over an incident that was determined by an independent inquiry at the time to not be a breach of the code of conduct and was a consensual and private exchange that occurred between two mature adults and was not repeated.”

Fast bowler Pat Cummins is favourite to replace Tim Paine as Test captain ahead of the Ashes series, which starts in Brisbane on December 8. The front runner for the top job in Australian cricket is vice-captain and bowler Pat Cummins, while former captain Steve Smith has previously expressed his desire to lead the side again.

In 2018 Cricket Australia investigated the sexting incident but cleared Tim Paine of any wrongdoing after they deemed, he had not breached the code of conduct.

Following Tim Paine’s resignation from the Test captaincy,  doubts have been cast over his role in the side, with many calling for him to be dropped. Matthew Wade, Josh Inglis, and Alex Carey are the candidates to replace Tim Paine if he isn’t allowed to play.

Australia Captain Tim Paine has stepped down from the role (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)
Australia Captain Tim Paine has stepped down from the role (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)
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George Bailey To Step Aside From Voting On Whether Tim Paine Will Remain In Ashes 2021/22 Team Or Not

George Bailey, the Australian chief selector, said Tuesday he will step aside from voting on whether tainted skipper Tim Paine should remain in the Australian Test cricket side if there is a split decision, given their healthy personal and business relationship.

Tim Paine abruptly quit as skipper on Friday ahead of the Ashes 2021/22 series against England over a series of lewd text messages with a female colleague in 2017 that was about to be made public.

Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)
Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)

George Bailey Would Step Aside if Voting Takes Place To Determine Whether Tim Paine Will Play As A Keeper

But he made clear he still wants to play as wicketkeeper in the opening Test in Brisbane on December 8. That decision will be made by a three-man selection panel comprising George Bailey, coach Justin Langer, and the recently appointed Tony Dodemaide.

George Bailey, who took over from Trevor Hohns as head selector earlier this year, is a close friend of Tim Paine, having long played together at Tasmania. They are also co-investors in a gym business in the state. George Bailey, who played 125 times for Australia, joined the selection panel in 2019 before he selected squads for the T20I World Cup (which Australia won) and the Ashes 2021/22.

George Bailey appointed chair of the National Selection Panel.(Getty Images)
George Bailey was appointed chair of the National Selection Panel. (Getty Images)

“If the panel was not in agreeance with Tim’s position going forward and it was going to come down to a vote, then I would step aside and leave that to Tony and Justin to work through,” George Bailey said. “They’re both aware of that.”

Tim Paine, 36, has suggested he may retire altogether after the Ashes 2021/22, and if he is not picked for Brisbane, it could spell the end of his international career. Working against him is a lack of match practice after invasive surgery in September for pain in his neck and left arm due to a bulging disc.

George Bailey: Selectors Will Be Watching Tim Paine Closely

Tim Paine made his return for Tasmania’s second XI in Hobart on Monday, grabbing six catches. George Bailey, a former skipper of the Australian limited-overs teams, said selectors were watching how he fares closely.

“One thing Tim’s always been pretty good at is the preparation side of things. He is quite meticulous,” George Bailey said. “There is no doubt it is not an ideal preparation, but we’ll watch this game and he’ll know how he gets through the four days as much as anyone.”

Alex Carey--Getty Images
Alex Carey–Getty Images

If they opt against him, Alex Carey is seen as a favourite to take the gloves in Brisbane. Alex Carey has played 45 ODIs and 11 T20Is but is yet to play the longest format. He debuted in 2018, and his last limited-overs game came against West Indies (ODI) and Bangladesh (T20) in July-August 2021.

Tim Paine’s captaincy and his wicket-keeping standards have come under severe criticism ever since India thrashed hosts Australia 2-1 in the 4 match Test series Down Under. Tim Paine has led his country to 11 wins, four draws, and eight defeats.

Under Tim Paine’s leadership, Australia had retained the Ashes and won 11 of 23 matches but had lost two successive home Test series to India.

Tim Paine-the 36-year-old’s career is in the shambles after the ‘sexting scandal’ with a co-worker back in 2017 surfaced recently.

In the aftermath of the incident, Tim Paine stepped down as the skipper of the Australian Test team after serving them since March 2018 following the Sandpaper Gate ball-tampering scandal, which resulted in captaincy bans to Steve Smith and David Warner.

David Warner plays a shot during his innings of 49, which launched Australia on their way to victory. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images
David Warner plays a shot during his innings of 49, which launched Australia on their way to victory. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images
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Waqar Younis Criticizes Justin Langer’s Praise For David Warner’s Double Bouncer 6

Waqar Younis, former Pakistan pacer and ex-captain has criticized Australia coach Justin Langer’s praise for David Warner’s double-bouncer six which he hit off Mohammad Hafeez in the second semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2021 between Australia and Pakistan.

Bowling the eighth over, the ball slipped out of Mohammed Hafeez’s hands and as it reached David Warner on two bounces, the Australia opener smoked it for six.

Waqar Younis © Reuters
Waqar Younis © Reuters

Waqar Younis: David Warner Had The Right To Hit It But Justin Langer’s Praise Was Ridiculous And Isn’t Right

While David Warner’s decision to hit a six was met with mixed reactions from the cricket fraternity, with the whole ‘spirit of cricket’ coming into question, Waqar Younis feels the batsman was in his right to do whatever he wanted but warned that it should not be promoted as he sets a bad example for youngsters watching the game.

“It’s fine. It was legal. He had the right to hit it and he did. That’s all good. But promoting it is wrong. The way Justin Langer praised it by saying things like ‘Brilliant presence of mind, I’ve never seen anything like this on the cricket pitch’… is ridiculous. That is not right. What are you teaching the little kids? Fine, it is your mindset… you play the way you want to but don’t teach the youngsters,” Waqar said on A Sports.

Australia's David Warner walks off following his dismissal against South Africa at the T20 World Cup (Associated Press)
Australia’s David Warner walks off following his dismissal against South Africa at the T20 World Cup (Associated Press)

David Warner smashed a 30-ball 49 during Australia’s record 177-run chase in the second semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2021 against Pakistan. His knock, along with the efforts of Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade, helped the Kangaroos book a berth in the final of the global event against New Zealand.

Waqar Younis Recalled A Previous Incident In 1999 When Justin Langer Didn’t Walk Back To The Pavillion Despite Nicking A Ball

Recalling a previous incident, Waqar Younis said it was not a surprise seeing Australia coach Justin Langer speak highly of it. During a Test match between Pakistan and Australia in Hobart in 1999, Waqar Younis revealed how Justin Langer did not walk despite edging the ball but instead, a few days later admitted to have nicked it.

“Justin Langer has this history. In a Test match in the 1990s, we played a very famous Test match at Hobart. We were on the brink of winning the Test match but when he nicked the ball, he did not walk. And it was the biggest nick I had ever heard,” Waqar said.

“He admitted 2-3 days later. I had a chat with him at one of the functions and he said ‘oh, there was a click in there. I said ‘don’t give me that rubbish’. He agreed to it. What are you trying to promote?”
Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Marcus Stoinis, along with Matthew Wade, put on 81 runs for the 6th wicket in just 6.3 overs to take their side over the line in the memorable semi-finals against Pakistan, who was unbeaten in the group stage. Marcus Stoinis smashed 40 not-out, while Matthew Wade hit 41* off 17 balls. 22 runs were needed in the last 12 balls, and Matthew Wade took Australia home with 6 balls to spare. Shaheen Shah Afridi got hammered for three sixes in a row in the penultimate over.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
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Matthew Hayden Praised Commitment Of Pakistan Cricketers Against India Which Set The Tone For Men In Green To Reach Semis Of The 2021 T20I World Cup

Matthew Hayden, Pakistan’s batting consultant, believes the 10-wicket thrashing of arch-rivals India set the tone for his side in the ongoing T20 World Cup and cited the players’ commitment to training and spirituality as the reasons for a stupendous unbeaten run so far.

With five wins out of as many games in the group stages, Pakistan is one of the favourites to lift the T20 World Cup and will take on Australia in the semifinal on Thursday.

Matthew Hayden
Matthew Hayden (Image Credit: Twitter)

Matthew Hayden Thinks Being A Part Of Australian Squad In His Career Years Will Give Him Insights For Pakistan As A Batting Consultant

Matthew Hayden, who was roped in as batting consultant for the mega-event, heaped praise on skipper Babar Azam for showing wonderful temperament and control during a high-pressure campaign.

“The highlight…the first game that we played here at Dubai, where we’re playing tomorrow night, against India, and just how under immense pressure…only comparable to the Ashes series, just how these boys wonderfully handled very calmly and very confidently their approach to playing such a huge match,” Matthew Hayden told reporters in the pre-match press conference.

“I think that game really set us up for what has been a really lovely four weeks of solid work, great commitment to training, great purpose in general.

“…also a wonderful heart connect to Islam and how spirituality has played its role within the Pakistan team as a great guide and tool for everyone to come together,” Matthew Hayden added.

Tactically on Thursday, Australia’s Matthew Hayden will be up against his former opening colleague Justin Langer, who is the chief coach of Australia. He believes his knowledge about Australian players and cricketing culture will hold Pakistan in good stead.

Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

“It is a very unusual feeling. As you all know, I was a warrior for Australian cricket over two decades, so that does give me the benefit of having wonderful insights not only into these players but also into the culture of cricket in Australia,” Matthew Hayden said.

“I guess from my point of view there is the challenge of the heart, the challenge of the mind in terms of what’s going to happen over the next 24 hours, but I’ll also say very proudly that it’s been wonderful to be a part of Pakistan cricket,” Matthew Hayden added.

Matthew Hayden feels that the T20 World Cup title is of great significance to Pakistan, which has been deprived of hosting international cricket for a long time due to security concerns.

“Yes, this is an extremely important tournament for Pakistan…I feel that as a nation that loves cricket as much as it does, and as focused so heavily on cricket, and also to have tournaments including the ones that I was a part of (being) cancelled for numerous reasons, it’s never more important,” he said.

“…and the awareness is heightened that out of this great nation we’ve got a squad of players here that are ready to perform and are ready to take on not only the semifinals but should we, inshallah, get beyond that, the finals.”

Against India, skipper Babar Azam and fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan knocked off the target of 152 odd in 17.5 overs without losing a single wicket. Babar Azam hit 68, not out, while Mohammed Rizwan finished with an undefeated 79. The win against India was Pakistan’s first win in 13 World Cup matches (seven in the 50 over World Cup and six in the Twenty20 World Cup) dating back to 1992 in Australia.

Matthew Hayden Praised Babar Azam And Shaheen Shah Afridi

Matthew Hayden spoke highly of Babar Azam and said his personality is completely opposite to that of India’s Virat Kohli, a contemporary great of the game.

“Babar and his personality is what you see is what you get. He’s very consistent. He’s very stable. He’s not overly flamboyant.In fact I’d go as far as to say he’s almost the opposite personality to someone like Virat Kohli, who’s very animated, very passionate, and very boisterous on the field. Got great control, and he’s got a wonderful temperament.

“…just to give you an insight into that talent, his ability to be able to consistently react to the ball is really second to none that I’ve seen. He picks up the line and the length of the ball quicker than the average cricketer that’s going around, and that’s the mark of someone that’s a very fine player,” he said.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)
He also praised pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi and termed his dismissal of KL Rahul as one of the best he has ever seen.

“Those number of balls, though, can be destructive, as we saw from his delivery to KL Rahul, one of the best balls that I’ve seen ever, apart from the last two or three months of observing cricket in this country and in the UAE.

“He’s got that ability like every good strike bowler to be able to commit to wonderful pace, which means that his preparation, his recovery and his just ability in general to be able to focus on delivering fast bowling day in, day out,” he further stated.

Shaheen Shah Afridi ran through Team India’s top-order after he got rid of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his opening spell. Then he came back to dismiss Virat Kohli, who scored a half-century. He finished with 3-31 after dismissing India’s top scorer, skipper Virat Kohli for 57 in a total of 151-7 in 20 overs.

Pakistan batters Mohammad Rizwan and Shoaib Malik, who suffered from “mild flu” and now have been deemed fit for the T20 World Cup semifinal against Australia on Thursday.

Justin Langer
Justin Langer
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Justin Langer Has Given Players More Freedom In The UAE During 2021 T20I World Cup: Steve Smith

Justin Langer, Australia head coach, has allowed his staff and players to work with more freedom in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the ongoing T20 World Cup, batsman Steve Smith has said. Australia started the T20I World Cup with a five-wicket win over South Africa, with their bowlers restricting the opposition to 118/9.

Justin Langer has been under almost constant pressure since Australia’s stunning defeat in a Test series at home against an injury-ravaged Indian team earlier this year. Media reports indicate that senior players were miffed by the former opening batsman’s tendency to micro-manage the team.
Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Justin Langer Has Given Players More Freedom: Steve Smith

Australian batsman Steve Smith said that head coach Justin Langer had given the players the freedom to play according to their way. However, a few months ahead of the T20 World Cup, there was a lot of chaos in the Australian dressing room between the head coach and team players. Justin Langer has been under scrutiny after Australia’s dismal T20 tour of Bangladesh as reports of a rift with the players emerged.

“It’s been very chilled. He (Justin Langer) has kind of taken a back seat and just let the guys go out and do their thing, trusting their preparation. The other coaches have been able to come in and do what they wanted to do,” Steve Smith said.

“It has been a really chilled environment the last few weeks, pretty enjoyable. The guys have really got together well. Everyone is really clear in their roles. It’s just about going out there, doing our jobs, and performing well,” he said.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith- Photograph: David Gray/AFP/Getty Images

Australia scraped through their opening encounter after an outstanding bowling performance and some critical cameos with the bat from Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, and Matthew Wade. Australia opted for four specialist bowlers only with spin all-rounder Glenn Maxwell as the fifth bowler.  Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins played together for the first time in a T20I despite the slow nature of the Abu Dhabi surface, with the plan working to perfection.

Steve Smith: Australia Has A Really Strong Squad Of 15 In 2021 T20I World Cup

Steve Smith said that Australia has a strong squad at their disposal. Steve Smith top-scored for Australia with 35 in their five-wicket win against South Africa in the opening match of the Super 12 stage. Aaron Finch didn’t score a single run off the five deliveries he faced. Despite David Warner scoring 14 runs off 15 deliveries, it wasn’t a strong showing for the batsman who averages 31.21 in T20 international games.

“We have a really strong squad of 15. Even missing out on someone like Ashton Agar was tough considering how he has performed in T20s over the last couple of years. It takes a real strong-squad mentality to win a World Cup. We started well against South Africa but it was just the start,” he said.

Aaron Finch didn’t hit any runs in Australia’s T20 World Cup opener against South Africa. Picture: Isuru Sameera Peiris / Gallo Images / Getty Images
Aaron Finch didn’t hit any runs in Australia’s T20 World Cup opener against South Africa. Picture: Isuru Sameera Peiris / Gallo Images / Getty Images

Australia made a bold decision to leave out Ashton Agar and Kane Richardson against South Africa, who had been automatic selections for most of the last two years in a five-man attack. Ashton Agar is currently the highest-ranked Australian at No. 6 on the ICC T20I bowling rankings.

Australia will face Sri Lanka in their second match of the tournament on Thursday in Abu Dhabi. They are chasing their maiden T20 World Cup title this year, having come closest in 2010 when they finished runners-up to England after losing the final by seven wickets.

Mitchell Starc (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mitchell Starc (Image Credit: Twitter)
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T20 World Cup 2021: Australia Not Much Concerned Over Mitchell Starc’s Fitness Before Sri Lanka Clash

Australia isn’t concerned over the fitness of fast bowler Mitchell Starc ahead of their crucial T20 World Cup clash with Sri Lanka despite him copping a blow on the knee in the nets on Tuesday.
Mitchell Starc was struck on the right knee by a straight drive in his follow-through during Australia’s Tuesday night training session at the ICC Academy. He left the session with a heavy limp and in some discomfort, but was moving without assistance.
Australia's Mitchell Starc
Australia’s Mitchell Starc- Image Credit: AFP

Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, And Pat Cummins Featured In Australia’s Opening Win Against South Africa In 2021 T20I World Cup

Mitchell Starc trained fully on Wednesday with a compression bandage on his knee and also batted and bowled during the session, with Australian medical staff continuing to monitor his bruising. Australia has two matches in three days, as they face Sri Lanka on Thursday and England on Saturday, and management of their fast bowling stocks will be critical.
Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc training with the compression sleeve. (Image: Getty)
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins all played in Australia’s opening win against South Africa in Abu Dhabi as part of an attack with only four specialist bowlers. It was the first time all three had played a T20I together, having played six times together in T20s for Sydney Sixers in 2012, with the Sixers winning all six games.

Kane Richardson Can Be A Suitable Replacement For Mitchell Starc

Both pacer Kane Richardson and spinner Ashton Agar were left out of the win over South Africa, and coach Justin Langer said the decision was very tough. However, the coach stressed Australia would be flexible throughout the tournament with their selections, depending on conditions and match-ups.
Kane Richardson
Kane Richardson (Image Credit: Twitter)

The pacer wore a compression bandage on his knee for the entirety of the session but was able to bat and bowl without much of a fuss.  Mitchell Starc’s availability is crucial to the side as he is their primary death bowler and also the one that Aaron Finch turns to for wickets early on in the powerplay.

Without him, the bowling attack does look weakened, but Kane Richardson, who was left out of Australia’s first match, can be a suitable replacement. Ashton Agar was also excluded from the playing XI despite being in good nick. Australia head coach Justin Langer stated that it was a tough decision but one that had to be made considering the matchups in Group Of Death.

Although Australia won their first game against South Africa, they had to work hard to overhaul a 119-run target.

Australia Probable Playing XI: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steven Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (w), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

Sri Lanka Probable Playing XI: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera (wk), Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dasun Shanaka (c), Chamika Karunaratne, Dusmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Lahiru Kumara

Justin Langer
Justin Langer
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Justin Langer Confident Of Becoming A Better Coach After Emergency Meeting Between CA And Players

Justin Langer, Australia head coach reflected on the meeting with the national team’s top players and Cricket Australia bosses. Justin Langer has been under scrutiny after Australia’s dismal T20 tour of Bangladesh as reports of a rift with the players emerged.

It triggered an emergency meeting among Justin Langer, Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings, CEO Nick Hockley, Test skipper Tim Paine, white-ball captain Aaron Finch, and vice-captain Pat Cummins. They gathered to discuss the issues impeding the team’s progress and the board gave Justin Langer a vote of confidence.

Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Justin Langer Confident That He Will Become A Better Coach After The Results Of The Meeting

Speaking to the West Australian newspaper, Justin Langer revealed they discussed everything openly in the meeting. The former Test opener thinks he would emerge as a better coach as a result of this meeting.

“We all got a lot off our chests. I think we are all in a better place now. The situation at the moment is very tough, but I am confident that I will become a better coach from it.”

Steve Smith
Steve Smith Photograph: David Gray/AFP/Getty Images

Justin Langer’s role has been under the microscope in the wake of heavy T20 series defeats against West Indies and Bangladesh and amid media reports that some players had become disaffected by his intense coaching style.

Australia sent second-string white-ball sides to the Caribbean and Bangladesh after a slew of senior players(David Warner, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, and Daniel Sams) opted out of the tours while injured Steve Smith wasn’t considered for the elbow injury that flared up during the IPL.

Justin Langer: Criticism Will Stop When The Winning Results Come

Justin Langer understands that criticism will stop when the results will come. The 50-year old reminded everyone of Australia’s Ashes retention in England and the side’s number one ranking in the T20 format as his achievements. He hopes to return those to winning ways to silence the critics.

“When you win, everyone is happy and gets on with things but when you are losing, that is when the finger-pointing starts, and people look for excuses. We have had a rough trot in recent times but we retained the Ashes only a little while ago and were ranked No.1 in Test and T20 cricket not that long ago. Get back to winning and you won’t hear about anything else.”

Australia Team
Australia Team (Image Credit: Twitter)

Australia was thrashed 4-1 by the West Indies and 4-1 in Bangladesh, their first-ever series loss to the South Asians, raising alarm bells ahead of the T20 World Cup in October-November. Cricket Australia announced their World T20 squad a few weeks ago that saw all their first-choice players return to the fold. The players will likely depart for the UAE in early October. A few of them will leave earlier to participate in the IPL.

Australia recently announced their 15-man squad for the upcoming edition of the T20 World Cup which is scheduled to be held in the UAE. The uncapped player, Josh Inglis, received his maiden call-up. Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, David Warner, and Pat Cummins made a return to the side after having opted out of the away tours of Bangladesh and West Indies.

Steve Smith has recovered from his elbow injury and will also join the squad. Regular skipper Aaron Finch will lead the side which also includes three travel reserves – Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, and Daniel Sams.

Australia Squad For T20I World Cup

Aaron Finch (C), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins (VC), Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa. Travelling reserves: Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams

Justin Langer
Justin Langer
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Tim Paine Backed Under Fire Coach Justin Langer Despite Losing T20I Series Against Bangladesh And West Indies

Tim Paine, Australia Test captain has backed under-fire coach Justin Langer and vowed the players will work with former opener over the next six months following a “robust” emergency zoom meeting between Cricket Australia’s leaders on Wednesday.

Justin Langer’s role has been under the microscope in the wake of heavy T20 series defeats against West Indies and Bangladesh and amid media reports that some players had become disaffected by his intense coaching style.
Tim Paine backs embattled coach Justin Langer. (Reuters Photo)
Tim Paine backs embattled coach Justin Langer. (Reuters Photo)

Tim Paine Supports Justin Langer Despite Heavy T20I Series Losses To West Indies And Bangladesh

Test skipper Tim Paine said he and other senior players had cleared the air with Justin Langer and that the coach was not to blame for the team’s recent setbacks in the West Indies and Bangladesh.

“It was important that myself, Aaron Finch, Pat Cummins, and the leaders of Australian cricket got around him, discussed things that needed to be discussed, and then got around him and supported him to move forward,” Tim Paine said on radio station SEN Hobart on Friday.

Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

“The last few days we’ve really been able to galvanize around him, to have some really robust discussions on where we want to take this cricket team, what we expect of him, and what he expects of us, ” said Tim Paine.

Tim Paine’s captaincy and his wicket-keeping standards have come under severe criticism ever since India thrashed Australia 2-1 in the recently-concluded 4 match Test series. Tim Paine has led his country to 11 wins, four draws, and eight defeats. Under Tim Paine’s leadership, Australia has retained the Ashes and won 11 of 23 matches, but has lost two successive home series to India.

Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley this week said Justin Langer was contracted through to mid-2022 and praised him for helping rally the team when he took over in the wake of the Newlands ball-tampering scandal in 2018.

“It’s been a bit of a shame the last week that a lot of the failings around Australian cricket have been pinned on JL (Langer).”

“That’s certainly not the case. We haven’t lived up to our own standards on the field.”

Australia sent second-string white-ball sides to the Caribbean and Bangladesh after a slew of senior players(David Warner, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, and Daniel Sams) opted out of the tours while injured Steve Smith wasn’t considered for the elbow injury that flared up during the IPL.

Matthew Hayden Defended Coach Justin Langer, His Former Opening Partner

They were thrashed 4-1 by the West Indies and 4-1 in Bangladesh, their first-ever series loss to the South Asians, raising alarm bells ahead of the T20 World Cup in October-November.
Justin Langer’s former Test opening partner Matthew Hayden launched a spirited defence of the coach and blamed the players for leaking team issues to the media.

“A lot of the content coming out about this is downright disrespectful to a bloke that’s played over 100 Test matches,” he told Melbourne radio station SEN.

Bangladesh (AFP Photo)
Bangladesh (AFP Photo)

“Even this facetious discussion amongst senior players last night …. Umm, hello! What about meeting about the fact you’re number three in test cricket and number three in ODI rankings, and number six in T20 rankings?”

Bangladesh won the first T20I match by 23 runs, recording their first-ever win in the format against Australia in five attempts. Bangladesh then won the second T20I by five wickets, and the third T20I by ten runs.

Therefore, Bangladesh won the series with two matches to spare and recorded their first-ever series win in any format against Australia. Australia won the fourth T20I by three wickets, to avoid a whitewash. However, they lost the final match by 60 runs, with Bangladesh winning the series 4–1. A lot of the batting numbers make for grim reading, even factoring in the tough conditions in Dhaka.

Moises Henriques (135 runs at 13.50), Matthew Wade (129 runs at 12.90), Alex Carey (57 runs at 8.14), Josh Philippe (33 runs at 6.60), Ben McDermott (66 runs at 13.20), and Ashton Turner (51 runs at 10.20) didn’t have trips to remember.

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