Australia coach Justin Langer has admitted that the ongoing India-Australia series is turning out into a closely-fought affair. The former player conceded that the first two Tests were tough, and he thinks that the two upcoming matches would be no different as well.
Justin Langer saw his team win the pink-ball Test in Adelaide in emphatic fashion, where Australia beat India by eight wickets inside three days. However, the visitors made a roaring comeback in the Boxing Day Test, beating Australia by eight wickets at the MCG to restore parity.
Speaking to ANI in a virtual press conference on Tuesday, Justin Langer provided his views on the closely-fought nature of the India-Australia series, saying in this regard:
“The ongoing series is turning into an arm-wrestle. The first two Tests have been tough cricket; it’s 1-1, and that probably shows how close the series has been so far. We are very determined to get out of the blocks on Thursday. We are just looking forward to playing some cricket again, and it has been entertaining for everyone to see. Let's hope it continues in the next two Tests."
Justin Langer compared the ongoing series to the iconic Ashes skirmish in 2005.
The Australian coach is not the first one to put Australia’s rivalry with India on the same pedestal as the fiery rivalry with England. Spinner Nathan Lyon recently admitted that clashes between India and Australia are getting closer to the same level as that of the Ashes series.
Justin Langer addresses Australia’s batting concerns
A major concern coming into the third Test has been Australia’s batting. The Aussies have struggled to score runs, with star batsman Steve Smith scoring just ten runs in two Tests.
Australia barely managed to reach 200 in the Boxing Day Test, and none of their batsmen registered a fifty in the game. During the press conference, Justin Langer revealed that the team is working on their batting struggles and praised the talent at his disposal.
“I think we have plenty of talent. David coming back in after an injury, you always welcome great players after injury. I think there is plenty of batting talent in Australia; it’s all about opportunity. Obviously, we’re addressing the issue. We just scored 200 in one innings so far, but anytime you are scoring more than 200 in Tests, you are looking at ways to improve," said Langer.
Justin Langer heaps praise on Indian bowlers
While Justin Langer admitted that Australia’s batting has not been up to the mark, the coach took time to praise India’s bowlers.
He called Jasprit Bumrah world-class while also reserving praise for spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. The duo has been India’s star performers in the first two Tests and has outfoxed the Australian batsmen.
“There has been seam movement. India have taken straighter lines to a couple of our batsmen and set the field accordingly. Ashwin is bowling really well, and Bumrah is a world-class bowler. The great bowlers are the ones who are hard to score against. Ashwin and Bumrah are right up there at the moment, credit to India, very well planned.”Published 05 Jan 2021, 10:38 IST