Mitchell Johnson believes Justin Langer is not a grumpy character after reports had emerged that there is growing unrest in the Australian camp. It has been claimed that the Australian players are finding Langer less approachable, with more cricketers turning towards assistant coach Andrew McDonald for advice.
Johnson opined that ever since the sandpaper incident in South Africa, the Australian team have come under intense scrutiny. The former pacer, who feels Justin Langer isn't really a grumpy character, thinks everyone is just nitpicking. Speaking on The Fast and the Curious Podcast, Johnson said:
"It’s nitpicking, It’s all about finding something that will cause a stir, and that’s all it is to me. People read way too much into things these days. It makes him look like a babysitter to the team in a lot of ways; it’s definitely been blown out of proportion. I don’t think JL is that grumpy and that full-on as a coach, but I just think it’s the incident in South Africa, it just sort of maybe just made the players aware of what things look like and giving that advice.”
Mitchell Johnson further added that he hopes none of the Aussie players and Justin Langer are taking the reports personally.
"It frustrates me when I hear it, but I’m not in the position of JL (Justin Langer) or the players, so I don’t let it get to me that much, but as an ex-player from the outside right now, it’s gotta be so frustrating to the players. If they’re reading these things and it only causes problems in the team if they take it all personally," added Johnson.
Australia were set to tour to South Africa for a three-match Test series this month. But owing to COVID-19 concerns in the Rainbow Nation, the tour has been postponed. On the back of this, Australia's chances of making it to the ICC World Test Championship final hangs in the balance. They now have to depend on the outcome of the India-England series.
"I love Justin Langer" - Marnus Labuschagne
Justin Langer came under criticism after reports of a dressing room unrest emerged. Recently, Marnus Labuschagne made it clear that he shares a great relationship with the Australian coach.
"I love JL, and I love what he brings to the team. There’s always more pressure when you’re not winning games. We’ve got to make sure that we’re really focused when we come back as a squad and make sure we stay really close to each other as a group and as a coaching staff," said Labuschagne.
Justin Langer asked Marnus Labuschagne not to carry a toasted sandwich onto the field against India, which didn't go down well with some Australian players. However, as things stand, there is no bad blood between the pair.