Adam Gilchrist has defended former teammate and close friend Justin Langer and has claimed that the players should not look to oust Langer based on two bad months, and believes they need to acknowledge his contributions. Gilchrist further feels that there is no ‘strong evidence’ against Langer.
Post Australia’s embarrassing 2-1 defeat at home against India, reports emerged claiming that several players were unhappy with Justin Langer’s rigid and intense coaching style, and the sandwich-gate involving Marnus Labuschagne in particular attracted attention. Several players spoke to news outlets anonymously, and many were critical of Langer’s style of coaching, which they believed was unrelenting. In addition to this, last week, a Sydney Morning Herald report revealed that CA, post an end-season review, told Langer that he needed to change his coaching style in order to continue.
Many have taken the side of the players, but legendary Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist has come to the defence of Langer. Gilchrist, who has known Langer since his junior days, said that the players have to be careful what they wish for, and insisted that they should not look the throw Langer out just because he took his anger out on the players post the series defeat against India.
“We’ve got to be careful what we wish for. “Justin came in and played a huge part in conjunction with others in turning that around and building a stronger culture and a stronger direction and behaviours of that team,” Gilchrist was quoted as saying by foxsports.com.au.
“I think they need to be careful that they don’t just wash that away and say, ‘He was grumpy because we lost to India’. If they’ve got an issue with Justin, my advice is go to Justin and talk openly and honestly about it, nowhere else.”
Gilchrist further said that, in his interactions with the players, he is yet to hear strong opinions about the Langer saga. The 49-year-old described Langer as someone who is evolving by the day, and further claimed that there is no ‘strong evidence’ of the Australian dressing room being divided or unsettled.
“My discussions with the playing group over the period … there’s not a great deal in it. There’s been some differing of opinions on certain things and that’s to be expected.
“I’ll defend Justin Langer really strongly because he’s one of my closest friends, but I try to step back and look at it from a distance. He’s forever evolving as a person and as a coach and he’s very aware of that and acknowledges that, but I feel we’ve got to be very careful as we pursue this line of thought in the public space.
“It’s never strong quotes from anyone, it’s always, ‘I heard this, or someone told me that’.”