Earlier today Justin Langer stepped down as the coach after a lot of discussions and meetings with Cricket Australia and players of the cricket team. While he has achieved success as coach, Langer has gone through an interesting journey with the team.
After the ball-tampering incident in Newlands, Australia had to contend with the loss of Darren Lehman as coach along with Steve Smith and David Warner. The incident put Australian Cricket in bad light as the credibility of the game and their attitude came into question. To rebuild Australia’s image, Justin Langer was hired as the coach, and came in to build Australia’s respect.
Justin Langer had to contend with a depleted side, and a group of players who were low on morale. His first assignment was limited overs tour to England. With hostile crowds and a relentless English line-up, Australia struggled and were whitewashed with ease. There was hardly any fight and England went through creating some massive records.
After losing badly in England, Australia managed to gather some happiness in Dubai. Playing in Alien conditions, Australia did well to draw the first Test after a good innings from Usman Khawaja. Australia though were quick to lose their momentum as the team lost the second Test and series. They had India coming over next, and a meltdown at home handed India their first Test series victory in Australia.
Nine months after the Newlands scandal, Australia finally had something to be happy about. With months left for the World Cup, the ODI side won a series each in India and the UAE, against Pakistan. The series win gave them some momentum going into the World Cup. With David Warner and Steve Smith coming back for the World Cup, Australia looked very strong, and turned out to be one of the strongest sides in the tournament, until they lost the semi-final to England.
After the World Cup, Justin Langer coached Australia as they retained the Ashes away from home in a thrilling series. The series saw Steve Smith return to Test Cricket in remarkable fashion. After the Ashes, Australia began their string of home Tests, which has continued up until today. They whitewashed both New Zealand and Pakistan at home with Justin Langer and Australia unearthing a wonderful talent in Marnus Labuschagne.
Australia’s pandemic journey began with a series against England in England. The white-ball series was closely contested and saw a wonderful partnership between Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey as Australia won the series.
The summer of 2020-2021 is where Justin Langer’s troubles began. In one of the closest and most thrilling series of recent times the cracks in the Australian team began to show. The Australian team were beat by an Indian team that didn’t have Virat Kohli, while India kept losing bowlers through the series. India pulled of a famous escape in Sydney and breached the Gabba fortress with a victory to seal their second series win in Australia. Following the series, reports of rift began in the dressing room.
After the series loss, Australia had a break from Cricket as the tour to South Africa was called off. The team went to West Indies and Bangladesh later in the year, but in both tours Australia played without some of their main players. After a couple of series defeats in both places, reports of rift began again, and there were talks held to sort the situation. After the talk, Justin Langer’s role was said to be reduced but he was retained as head coach.
With rifts reported, the Australian team went into the World Cup with a very poor lead-up to the tournament. They lost two series before the T20 World Cup, and the dressing room seemed unsettled. Australia was nowhere near favorites but they managed to win the tournament for the first time, shocking everyone.
Following the high of the World Cup win, Justin Langer’s journey continued to get better as they crushed England in the Ashes. The Ashes at home was never a contest as England looked completely out of the game. They hardly threatened Australia, a month later Justin Langer had another big win in his cabinet.
He had a dream run over the last few months with a World Cup and Ashes win, but after the Ashes his contract came into question. Players didn’t endorse him as confidently, and CA put him through some tough discussions. After a lot of discussions with CA, Justin Langer has finally resigned as coach, ending a tenure which saw him take Australia from its lowest point to a good position. He oversaw Australia retain the Ashes at home, win a T20 World Cup and hammer England in the Ashes over his tenure.