Winning at the T20 World Cup and more importantly the Ashes could help rampant speculation about Australian coach Justin Langer “die away” according to selection chairman George Bailey.
As he announced a 15-man squad for October’s T20 World Cup, with a raft of returning senior players, Bailey was asked whether Langer had “lost the dressing room” amid leaks about his coaching style grating on players.
“I don’t think so,” Bailey, who selected the squad with Langer, replied.
Bailey, who joined the selection panel last summer, conceded performances by the Australian team, including a home Test series loss to India and more recently eight losses from 10 T20s in the West Indies and Bangladesh, hadn’t been up to scratch.
But the Tasmanian said it was unfair to “put this all on Justin” as the scrutiny intensifies about his relationship with players.
“As a group, if you look over the last 12 months, the Australian cricket team, I don’t think we’ve quite played the best cricket or certainly as good as we potentially could have,” Bailey said.
“We are constantly looking to get better. JL took over at a pretty challenging period of time and since then there have been a lot of permutations and change happen in the way that group is. There’s no doubt that’s why you periodically do full reviews of your set-up and look at specific areas you can target to get better.
“I don’t how often we’ll need to keep harping on that. If we perform well, these things tend to die away a little bit.”
Cricket Australia national selection chairman George Bailey says Australia performing well will take care of the rumours of unrest. Picture: Zak SimmondsSource:News Corp Australia
After a post-summer review, which included feedback form players directly to Langer, the coach found some of the things said about his style “confronting” and pledged to work on his shortcomings.
But the rumblings about discontent continue and forced Cricket Australia to publicly throw its support behind Langer on Wednesday.
Bailey said the current landscape presented “challenges” unlike any others, but was no disputing Langer’s pursuit of excellence for Australian cricket.
“Regardless of everything that might have been said and written, the amount of respect JL has for what he has done and what he is trying to do with this team is huge,” Bailey said.
“There’s no doubt there’s been a few challenges over the last 12 months, let’s be realistic, there’s been some challenges around some of the travel and tours and some of the results as well.
“I don’t think this is unique to JL. Justin, Aaron (Finch), Tim (Paine), all the senior players, all the staff are constantly trying to improve and get better.
“Whether that’s on the back of winning series or losing series, there is culture of constant improvement and I don’t think we are in any different state than that right now.”
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