Australian men’s team skipper Aaron Finch has backed their head coach Justin Langer, during a pre-departure (to West Indies) camp. Finch lauded Langer for addressing the “confronting” team reviews that led to talk of unrest in the Australia dressing room ahead of the limited-overs West Indies tour.
Following the 2-1 Border-Gavaskar Trophy defeat to India in January, reports regarding friction between the Australian players and the head coach started doing the rounds. They stated that the players were in discontentment at Langer’s conduct since he demanded from them more than they could deliver and was involved more than he should have in the bowling department. Langer’s cranky approach was also much talked about.
“Over a couple of days on the Gold Coast we had a great camp… the ability for JL to address a few issues that came up in the review with Tim Ford, that was brilliant from him to tackle them head-on, put his side of the story, put his spin on it, that shows the quality of the man he is and things he’s working on,” Finch said.
“We are all behind him 100%, the way he’s coached Australia in the last couple of years has been fantastic, I think we’ve had some really good success. No doubt it was quite confronting for him at the time but he took it head-on and it was great. Very positive from our point of view.”
Aaron Finch said that Langer’s tension was greatly the outcome of the high-pressure situation last summer and the taxing nature of the bio-secure bubbles.
“Think there was a combination of a few things. On the back of a lot of bubbles as well, I think he could have used his assistants a little better and delegated in that regard but there was nothing groundbreaking.
“It was stuff every player and every coach would reflect on themselves. The way he confronted that and the way it was received by the players was outstanding,” Finch added.
Australia arrived in the West Indies this week for five Twenty20s in St Lucia starting July 10. It will then be followed by three ODIs in Barbados.
Australia will be without several first-choice players, including David Warner, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, and Glenn Maxwell, who pulled out of the tour owing to bio-bubble fatigue. Steve Smith, on the other hand, is out due to his elbow injury.