When he had taken over as the coach of the Australia side in the wake of the Sandpapergate scandal, it was in great turmoil. However, the Australian cricketing fraternity had posed a great faith on Justin Langer’s leadership as the coach of the national side that had lost a big pride. Though he did not really have any extra-ordinary success after taking over as the Australian side lacked some big names, yet Langer continued to command respect. But on his personal front, the responsibility had taken its toll.
The 48-year-old former cricketer, who played international cricket between 1993 and 2007 and only as a Test batsman between 1997 and 2007, recently revealed that the first six months of his stint were so stressful that his wife sue was left in tears when India were on course of humbling Australia on their own soil for the first time when they toured Down Under last summer. India won both the Test and ODI series 2-1.
Australia had some painful losses in his first few months till they turned things around starting from the India tour earlier this year. They won both the T20I and ODI series and then went on to thump Pakistan 5-0 in ODIs in the UAE. In the World Cup that followed, Australia did well to dominate the tournament for the most part before losing two back-to-back games to crash out in the semi-finals. Now, Langer has another acid test in the form of the Ashes starting August 1, which also marks the inauguration of the World Test Championship.
When Australia’s loss against India at home hurt Langer’s family life
The former southpaw spoke to ESPNcricinfo recently where he spoke about the psychological ordeal his family faced when Australia were under pressure to win the fourth Test against India in Sydney to keep their pride intact.
“I’ve known my wife since I was 14 years old, so she knows everything about me, and they were leaving. They were leaving that day, and we were at breakfast at 8 o’clock and my wife started crying at the breakfast table in front of my daughters,” India Today cited reports that quoted Langer as saying.
“I said what’s going on, I had never seen my wife cry – we know everything about each other. She said ‘I just don’t like what’s happening here, I don’t like what it’s doing to you, I don’t like what it’s doing to us, people are so mean, what people are saying about you and the team and Australian cricket’. That was a real eye-opener for me, that it was affecting my family.”
Langer also mentioned about another occasion when he had a tense verbal exchange with a journalist over the Test future of batting all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. It was another moment when he felt the pressure of his job.
“I got, I’d say two out of 10 grumpy with the journalist in Sydney, and I was also amazed at the backlash of that as well. I apologised straight after the event, that’s me, but I realised then and the way people said ‘he’s getting angry, he’s losing it’. I didn’t feel that but my wife was getting upset, that was a real moment,” he added.
Langer said he had moments in his playing days that were tough but played pivotal roles in his life. But his experience in Sydney in January 2019 when Australia were at the receiving ends played a massive role in his evolution as a coach.
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