Australia head coach Justin Langer has described the criticism of his coaching style by the national players as a “wake-up call” which he won’t ignore.
Following an under-strength India’s historic Test win in Australia, a report in ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ said that some national players are not happy with Langer’s intense “micro-management” coaching style.
While Langer had rubbished the reports, the coach looked to take the criticism in his stride, terming it a “great gift”.
“I’m not going to ignore this, of course, and absolutely it is a wake-up call,” Langer told ESPNcricinfo on Monday.
“Whenever I finish this coaching career I hope I’m still calling myself a novice coach. I’ll see this criticism as a great gift in a few weeks or months.”
The former left-handed opener still has 18 months left in his contract.
“My greatest mentors in life are the people who told me the truth and were toughest on me, and I’ve always needed that honest feedback. I might not enjoy it at the time, but it is so, so valuable.”
The 50-year-old Langer had taken over the reins from Darren Lehmann following the 2018 infamous ‘sandpaper scandal’ in Cape Town which led to the year-long bans of David Warner and Steve Smith and a nine-month suspension of Cameron Bancroft for ball tampering.
“The only disappointing thing from the weekend’s reports was there was discussion things were coming from within the camp,” Langer was quoted as saying by ‘The West Australia’.
“You know me, I’m a pretty simple bloke and let’s get this on the record: yeah I am intense, yeah I am serious, I am.
“Do I get grumpy sometimes? Yeah I get grumpy sometimes, I’m not perfect that’s for sure, but I’m pretty good at some of the things I do …”
Langer said he would rather have people coming straight to him to discuss things.
“…that’s the Australian way as I know it, let’s talk through it, let’s go through it and work things out.” Australia captain Tim Paine also threw his weight behind Langer.
“JL is a passionate guy, particularly when it comes to this team and Australian cricket,” Paine told The Sunday Telegraph.
“He’s also the guy who kicks the bin over and then puts the rubbish back in. He wears his heart on his sleeve, is tough, fair and at times emotional, just as he was as a player and now as a coach. You would be worried if that wasn’t the case.”