'We were best in the world not too long ago' - Justin Langer backs Australia to restore reputation through T20 World Cup 2021

‘We were best in the world not too long ago’ – Justin Langer backs Australia to restore reputation through T20 World Cup 2021

Langer also lauded his team to qualify for the semi-finals, correcting their mistakes after a heavy defeat against England in the Super12s.

Australia cricket team
Australia cricket team. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

Australia head coach Justin Langer feels the current national team possesses the potential to restore the reputation that Australia once had in world cricket. Australia became the second team from Group 1 to qualify for the semi-finals, joining England and Pakistan.

Australia had a risk of elimination hovering over their head despite the eight-wicket victory against West Indies in their last Super12 fixture, with South Africa being in the hunt to qualify as well. The Proteas managed to defeat England but could not surpass Australia’s net run rate. As for the last semi-finalist, India and New Zealand remain in the hunt.

“Not that long ago we were the best team in the world and some of that cricket shows we can be the best team in the world,” Langer told reporters.

“I think England are leading the way at the moment and we’ve got exciting prospects. We’re taking great lessons from this tournament on how we can continue to play T20 cricket now, for this tournament, and moving forward,” he further stated.

Speaking about their potential semi-final rivals Pakistan, Langer termed them a “well-led unit”. Pakistan, who face Scotland in their last league stage fixture, are yet to be defeated, and were the first team to storm into the semi-finals.

“They’ve got a good all-round team like we have, and they’re well-led,” Langer said. “Their captain, Babar Azam, is a superstar of the game. They’ve some good pace bowlers and they’ve a couple of good spinners, so they’re a well-balanced side like we are, so it should be a great game of cricket,” he added.

Langer also lauded Australia for bouncing back after a thumping defeat against England, as they won back-to-back games against Bangladesh and West Indies to ensure they proceeded further in the tournament.

“It was brilliant again last night [against West Indies], I think our last few games have been outstanding cricket,” said Langer. “The boys have really stepped up. It was quite a sobering experience against England. We knew we had to do some work and the way the boys responded to that has been brilliant, so it’s nice to be in the semi-final.”

“You can’t win it unless you’re in the semi-final. It’s nice to be sitting here, knowing we’re in a semi-final on Thursday,” he concluded.