Justin Langer churns out Australia’s positives despite ODI series loss to India
"We got really close this series."
Published - Jan 19, 2019 2:05 pm | Updated - Jan 19, 2019 2:05 pm
If 2018 was a year to forget for Justin Langer then 2019 has not started on a promising note for the Australia head coach. He had replaced Darren Lehmann as the coach after the ball-tampering scandal but has failed to turn the team’s fortunes thus far. Under him, Australia were whitewashed in England, lost in UAE, lost at home to South Africa before India piled more miseries on them. The visitors left Australia without losing any series, drawing the T20Is 1-1, winning the Tests 2-1 before winning the ODIs 2-1.
On Friday, India beat the hosts by seven wickets at the MCG to register their first ever bilateral ODI series win in Australia. Riding on a stunning match-winning knock from MS Dhoni and a six-wicket haul from Yuzvendra Chahal, India created history Down Under. But despite the loss, Langer said that the recently-concluded ODI series was one full of positives four months ahead of the World Cup.
Langer pointed out the performances of axed Test batsmen Handscomb and Shaun Marsh, Jhye Richardson to back his claim. “We came unstuck today, but we’re really clear how we want to play,” Langer was quoted as saying in West Australian. “We got really close this series. It came down to the last over twice and we won the first one. It’s been another real arm wrestle and it’s been a great series, but we’re very clear with how we want to play our cricket, no doubt. That’s a good feeling for us,” he added.
Langer further lavished praise on Richardson who bowled 41 dot balls in his 10 overs at the MCG. The right-arm pacer finished the series with 6 wickets including his match-winning four-wicket spell in the series-opener in Sydney. “He was a shining light for us,” Langer said.
Langer goes gaga over Dhoni:
The Australia head coach also had some words of praise for MS Dhoni after his startling display in the series. Dhoni finished the series as India’s highest run-scorer, scoring 193 runs with the help of three fifties. He scored an unbeaten 87 on Friday to guide India to a thrilling win.
“MS Dhoni, like Virat Kohli, like Cheteshwar Pujara in the Test series, they give us really great role models. MS Dhoni, his record, everything speaks for itself as a captain, batsman, wicketkeeper. He is literally an all-time great of the game and it has been, as hard as it is to lose, a privilege to play against those guys,” he said.
Australia’s next assignment is the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka.