Scale 'Mount India' to be considered great, new coach Langer to Aussies
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Melbourne, May 3 (PTI) Newly-appointed Australia coach Justin Langer today said his team can be considered great only if it wins a Test series in India, something that he likened to conquering Mount Everest, last done back in 2004.
Langer, who took over from Darren Lehman, has plenty on his table but for him the tour of the Indian sub-continent will be the ultimate challenge, which will happen only in 2021.
"We've got a World Cup, a T20 World Cup, a couple of Ashes (in 2019 and 2021-22) - I get nervous when I start thinking about it. There are some big tournaments coming up," Langer told mediapersons today.
"But ultimately, if I fast forward it, the Indian Test tour in about three or four years' time (2021), to me that's the ultimate. We will judge ourselves on whether we're a great cricket team, if we beat India in India," the former opener declared.
For him, being a part of the Adam Gilchrist-led side that won the 2004 Test series in India 2-1, was like scaling Mount Everest. Langer believes that a victory in India will be an indelible redemption for the emotionally scarred national team.
"I look back on my career, the Mount Everest moment was 2004, when we finally beat India in India. We've got to get better at playing overseas, we become a great team if we win overseas and at home so that will be something for us to aspire to."
Langer admitted that the absence of ex-captain Steve Smith and his former deputy David Warner, who with rookie Test opener Cameron Bancroft have been suspended for their roles in the recent ball-tampering scandal, will be felt as they host a number of teams including India at home later this year.
"It's hard to replace their runs and their experience," Langer said when asked how he planned to cover the loss of the pair who were responsible for 37 per cent of the Test match runs Australia scored since 2014.
"Over the next 11 months, there's a chance for some guys to take their opportunities to even make us stronger, and add to the depth. They (Smith and Warner) are like the cream on the top, when it comes to big tournaments. You can build the depth and then you've got some great players coming back in, that's a pretty exciting time