Pat Cummins responds to Justin Langer coaching future question: Ashes cricket 2021

The mystery around Justin Langer’s future as Australian coach won’t go away, intensifying after Pat Cummins’ post-match comments.

Pat Cummins opted against giving Justin Langer a ringing endorsement after Australia wrapped up the Ashes by thrashing England at the MCG on Tuesday.

The home side belted Joe Root’s men by an innings and 14 runs to go up 3-0 as Cummins celebrated his first series win since taking over from Tim Paine as Test captain.

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But there are still question marks over the future of Langer, whose four-year contract expires in mid-2022, and Cummins left the door ajar for speculation to continue.

“I think we’ll savour this victory today and continue for the Ashes, and I don’t think today is the day to speculate on that,” Cummins said when asked about Langer’s position.

“I think we’ll sit down all together after this series, or whenever his tenure is up and his contract is up for renewal, in a few months we’ll visit that then.”

Cummins’ comments come after Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley recently declined to elaborate on Langer’s future, saying it wasn’t the right time to discuss the matter in the middle of the Ashes.

Reports emerged after last summer’s home series defeat to India Langer’s intensity was wearing thin with the players. Leaks emerged from the dressing room about their unhappiness with his coaching style and the cracks remained during horror white ball tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh in the middle of this year.

A crisis meeting between Cricket Australia chiefs and senior players such as Cummins, Paine and white ball skipper Aaron Finch was needed to address the issues between players and coach, sparking suggestions Langer was in danger of not having his contract renewed.

However, since then, Australia shocked everyone by winning the T20 World Cup and has now obliterated England. The team’s results have coincided with reports from within the Aussie camp Langer has become more relaxed and delegated more to his assistant coaches.

“JL (Langer) has been great. He’s certainly still head coach, but I think the environment that he creates not only for the players, but the coaches around him, really empowers them,” Cummins said of Langer’s change in approach earlier this month.

“You’ve seen (batting coach) Michael Di Venuto really take charge of the batting, (assistant coach) Andrew McDonald take charge of the bowling. It’s just really good, clear roles for everyone in the team.

“It’s in some ways taking a step back and let(ting) the players really dictate the environment they want.

“It worked incredibly well over in the World Cup, and he (Langer) has huge credit to do with that, and hopefully it continues for this summer. He’s been great so far.”

Asked on Fox Sports about his future after winning the third Test in Melbourne, Langer smiled and said “we’ll worry about that later”.

Ahead of the Boxing Day blockbuster, the 51-year-old suggested he was keen to continue coaching the national team.

“I have never thought differently, to be honest. I have been consistent with what I have said for the last four years. I love my job,” he said.

“The boys are playing well, no doubt about it, it’s a great team to be involved in. So, nothing has changed from my point of view.”

Originally published as Cummins gives curious response to question about Langer’s coaching future

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