According to dressing room sources, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, Justin Langer's intense coaching style has affected the Australian players. The cricketers are reportedly drained by the former batsman's intensity and mood shifts.
Several Australian players have found Justin Langer less approachable, with them turning towards assistant coach Andrew McDonald for advice and support. Some senior cricketers are also said to be unhappy with Langer's emphasis on micro-management.
The Sydney Morning Herald contacted Justin Langer regarding the following development, and the Australian coach said:
"If players just want someone to tickle their stomachs all the time, then I’m not doing my job."
Regarding him micro-managing bowlers, Justin Langer said:
"It’s actually the opposite of what happens, I never talk about statistics to the bowlers, ever. I don’t go to any of the bowlers’ meetings. That’s what the bowlers’ coach is meant to be doing. I don’t do any of that. I never, ever, ever speak to any of the bowlers about any of that sort of stuff. And the learnings of the last few months are I should start looking at that more.”
The Australian cricket team currently consists of relatively experienced players and Justin Langer's headmaster-like attitude has seemingly not gone down well with some of the top pros. However, the players have not let their dissatisfaction known to the Cricket Australia hierarchy.
Justin Langer and the sandwich incident
In an incident which irked some Australian cricketers, Justin Langer asked a player not to carry a toasted sandwich in his pocket while going out to bat against India. Given the scrutiny after the sandpaper incident, Langer insisted that carrying something in the pocket wouldn't look good if it gets picked up on the camera.
"You’re walking on against India, we’re trying to win a test match, and one of our players walks on with a toasted sandwich in his hand, “I spoke to [the player] about it at length yesterday. I said, ‘How do you reckon it looks, mate?’ Is that not something I should say?," said Langer.
Justin Langer and the Australian team have come under scrutiny following their Test series loss to an injury-hit Indian side. Will they get on the path of self-implosion or will they bounce back against South Africa next month? We will find out soon.