New Australian Coach Justin Langer’s first order of business, apparently, will be dealing with tutoring his players on how to deal with the reaction they are sure to receive when they take the oval for the tour of the United Kingdom for ODI play.
That is a tall order for a new coach, the sort we would not wish on anyone.
Langer will get the whole group together to advise them on how to hold up to what is certain to be a hostile group of Poms players and supporters.
Wicketkeeper Alex Carey told members of the media, “We will get together as a group and sit down and I’m sure we’ll outline a few things. Obviously go over what has happened the last couple of months and with the new squad we have got, start fresh and get stuck into the UK tour.”
Langer seemed an obvious choice to take the helm, judging by the success he had when he was running things in Western Australia. It would have be unsurprising, however, if he had declined to accept the challenge of leading a group that will have to be exemplary and far above reproach for the immediate and long-term future. He might even have to carry the drinks for the Brits.
Tim Paine will captain Australia for ODI and Aaron Finch will fill the same role for the T20 side. Carey was picked to be Finch’s co-captain, something that came as a surprise, as he has seen limited time in T20 and limited-overs at the international level.
The series with England begins on June 13 and will provide some inkling of the reception they will receive. It is hard to say where they can expect to encounter the most hostility, but it would be logical to some degree that England will not have completely forgotten the Ben Stokes incident.
Sports fans and the public in general seem to have short attention spans these days and nothing would better assist the Aussie cause than to hold their heads high and produce positive outcomes going forward.