Australia's new coach Justin Langer has a long list of assignments ahead of him but insists that beating India in India is his ‘ultimate’ goal. Langer was a part of the 2004 squad which had beaten India in India, which still remains the last time Australia got the better of India in India.
Justin Langer was officially announced as Darren Lehmann's successor as Australia's head coach and will take the reins of all three formats for the next four years. After the announcement, Langer revealed that he was nervous about the big tournament coming up, which includes a World Cup, a T20 World Cup, two Ashes series, but insisted that winning the series on the Indian tour would be his ‘ultimate’ goal. He stated that winning the 2004 series in India was the pinnacle of his career as a player and would look to do the same as a coach.
"We've got a World Cup, a T20 World Cup, a couple of Ashes (in 2019 and 2021-22) I get nervous when I start thinking about it," Langer was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"There are some big tournaments coming up. But ultimately, if I fast forward it, the Indian Test tour in about three or four years time, to me that's the ultimate.
"We will judge ourselves on whether we're a great cricket team if we beat India in India. I look back on my career, the Mount Everest moment was 2004 when we finally beat India in India. We've got to get better at playing overseas, we become a great team if we win overseas and at home so that will be something for us to aspire to."
Langer was named as the replacement for Darren Lehmann, who resigned after the infamous sandpaper gate scandal. Langer takes over a depleted side, whose main pillars David Warner and Steven Smith are serving a year-long ban. And Langer stated that his immediate goals would be to earn ‘respect’ for the Australian cricket again.
"For me, I think one of the things that's really important is we keep looking to earn respect. To me, respects worth more than all the gold in the world. It’s not just about how we play our cricket, it's about being good citizens and good Australians," the 47-year-old said.
Before retiring at the end of the 2006/07 Ashes series, Langer scored more than 7,500 runs in 105 Tests, including 23 centuries. He has had a successful stint with Perth Scorchers in the T20 ‘Big Bash league’ and has won 3 titles with them since 2012, making them the most successful franchise in the league.
He felt that if the team has good behavior on and off the field then, the image of the team would take care of itself.
"The public will be disappointed if we don't play good, hard, competitive cricket," said Langer. "How people view us, that's really none of our business. We know in this world everyone's got an opinion. If we go about our
Langer said that he was surprised by the incident in the third Test played in Cape Town, but has cleared that Smith, Bancroft, and Warner would be welcomed in the side if they met the ‘standards’ of the team once their ban got over.
Stressing on the need to have good relationships in the team, he said, "Well have to work on that. I would say, without being in it (at South Africa), camaraderie wasn't as right as it needed to be. I've said for years if you've got that camaraderie, then it's like that glue that keeps everything together, particularly when you're under pressure."