Australia head coach Justin Langer feels that his players would be considered the “worst blokes in the world” if they reacted the way Virat Kohli did to the dismissal of Aaron Finch on the second day of the first Test in Adelaide.
He also defended his players amidst criticism from the legendary Sachin Tendulkar who was taken aback the defensive mindset of the team.
Ishant Sharma got through the defences of Aaron Finch in the very first over of the Australian innings and Kohli, understandably ecstatic celebrated the dismissal in an animated fashion.
“You love seeing that passion in sport, don’t you?” Langer said, as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo. “Mind you, I think if we did that at the moment we’d be the worst blokes in the world, but it’s a fine line isn’t it? That’s the truth of it. But I love seeing the passion, I mean that’s great passion but, as I said, there’s a fine line isn’t there?” he added.
The 48-year old further fought off criticism from Tendulkar for their low scoring rate, adding that his players were young and relatively new to the arena of Test cricket.
Australia reached 191/7 at the close of play on the second day and Tendulkar took to Twitter to express his thoughts on the Aussie batting approach.
#TeamIndia should make the most of this situation and not lose their grip. The defensive mindset by the Australian batsmen at home is something I’ve not seen before in my experience. @ashwinravi99 has been very effective and has played a role to help the team be on top, for now.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) December 7, 2018
“#TeamIndia should make the most of this situation and not lose their grip. The defensive mindset by the Australian batsmen at home is something I’ve not seen before in my experience. @ashwinravi99 has been very effective and has played a role to help the team be on top, for now,” read his tweet.
In his response, Langer, in an interaction with SEN, said, “I saw the tweet from Sachin saying he’s never seen an Australian side bat so defensively.”
That said every time he’s played Australia he had Allan Border or David Boon, guys who have played 300 or 400 Tests between them. We’ve literally got kids when it comes to Test cricket playing. They’re just finding their own skin, they’re fighting their backsides off, not only to help us win the Test match, but to find out what Test cricket’s about.
“You’re always looking to score, every one of them is looking to score, but they bowled really well, Ashwin bowled well, we’ve got to find different ways of playing him, that’ll come. But it’s a very different team this batting order than what we’ve seen in past Australian teams,” he added.
Langer later told Fox Sports,” After the day’s play I knew there’d be a lot of comments about, like Sachin’s comments, I knew that’s what they’d say..And if that starts affecting our players then that’s going to really hurt us so the key is to get as close to the mark as we can and regardless of whether it’s no more runs or go ahead of them it’s going to be key how we bowl in the second innings.”
Nonetheless, he stated the fact that his players could have shown a bit more aggression towards India’s off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who turned out to be the best bowler for the hosts.
The Tamil Nadu tweaker made run-scoring tough for the Australians and took three crucial wickets to give India the upper hand.
He said, “Maybe Ashwin we could have been a little bit more pro-active against. I think particularly our lefties we need to have methods of scoring on both sides of the wicket. I think Travis did it really well I think Marcus did it well in his first Test match so there are areas we can get better at. It’s the first innings of a four-Test match series so and they’re the number one ranked Test team in the world but I’m definitely not going to get caught up in this we were too slow, we weren’t attacking enough because we saw with some fantastic Indians the same thing happened.”