Australia head coach Justin Langer, who is known to be a fighter and a tough nut to crack, has been recently asked to change his coaching style after an end-of-season review of Kangaroos cricket.
The review has revealed that frustration in the team was brought by Langer’s shifting moods while the Australian players want more freedom and more ownership of the side, while his response to the feedback across the rest of the year will decide whether he will be handed a new contract or not.
Notably, Langer took over as Australia head coach in May 2018 after the infamous Sandpaper saga and guided the young team as a leader and coach from the front in the critical time when they were rebuilding their image, but his operating style has left the players unhappy and unsatisfied.
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Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald newspaper has reported that the robust end-of-season review has been done by the 40 national players and support staff, and as a process, Langer was given “strong and straightforward” feedback about his coaching style.
The Australian team manager Gavin Dobey was also reportedly given a straightforward talk, as his and Langer’s coaching styles are believed to be the main cause of concern for the national players who feel is disturbing the atmosphere within the team.
CA's national team’s boss Ben Oliver stated: “This is effectively identical to the process undertaken before the last World Cup and the 2019 Ashes where the team performed strongly.”
He added, “It's part of our ongoing commitment to on- and off-field improvement and we expect it will have a similar benefit in the team's preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup and home Ashes.”
A second review process was conducted by the team leadership consultant Tim Ford and Oliver said, “Tim is again assisting us as he has in the past with gathering feedback and insights from players and staff. It's always a thought-provoking and energizing process from which we get great value.”
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He continued, “Ford interviewed players virtually towards the end of the home season, with their responses to be kept anonymous. In a wide-ranging review, which checked on player welfare at the end of a difficult season, he asked for their thoughts on the team's values and what needed updating since they last underwent the process with him two years ago.”
Meanwhile, Ford will hand over the findings of the report to Australian team leaders Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, and Aaron Finch next week while Langer will also reportedly receive the feedback from his report though the comments were not as hard as the player review from the end of the season.
However, the Australian players gave assistant coach Andrew McDonald good reviews. McDonald was at the helm during Australia's tour of New Zealand for T20Is, while Langer stayed back for the Test tour of South Africa.
The report concluded, “In contrast to reports from the dressing room during the Australian summer, players spoke glowingly in public of the mood and team environment under McDonald, whom members of the Test side had gravitated towards due to his more approachable manner.”
(With PTI/ Sydney Morning Herald Inputs)