Australia’s head coach Justin Langer on Tuesday said that performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year will help to shape the country’s squad for the T20 World Cup later this year in India. The T20 World Cup remains the only major men’s tournament Australia are yet to win, with India to host the next edition in October-November.
“There’s no better showcase for some of our players,” Langer told SEN. “They’re playing in the same conditions (as the World Cup). We’ll watch that really closely and see who performs well.
“It’s a great opportunity for a lot of players. They get to play a lot of cricket under pressure, that can only benefit them individually and us collectively,” Langer added.
Langer noted a group of ‘five or six’ players, who weren't part of the T20 trip to New Zealand, remain certainties to take part in the World Cup. The likes of Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith earned big bucks at the IPL 2021 auction last month.
Meredith and the BBL’s player of the tournament Josh Philippe, who will soon reunite with Virat Kohli at Royal Challengers Bangalore, both debuted in the trans-Tasman series.
‘Really slack’ Australia admit over-rate cost berth in WTC final
Langer said his team were ‘really slack’ in not maintaining their over-rate in the Melbourne Test against India which eventually cost them a place in the World Test Championships final. Australia were fined four WTC points for being two overs behind in the second Test of the four-match series.
India recently beat England 3-1 in a home Test series to set up a WTC final clash with New Zealand in June and Australia could have qualified in place of the Kiwis if not for that slow over-rate penalty.
“This might be the silliest thing I’ve ever said, but our manager Gavin Dovey ... He’d been away, he’d gone home for Christmas to be with his family,” Langer said.
“It wasn’t until after the game that we realised our over rate was down. Now, that’s really slack on our behalf.”
In the WTC standing, New Zealand finished 0.3 per cent ahead of Australia, who had decided not to travel to South Africa for a Test series due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I remember we were in the team room afterwards and I spoke to Painey (skipper Tim Paine) and Dene Hills, our analyst, about it. I was a bit grumpy about it and I thought ‘imagine if this cost us the World Test Championship’,” Langer said.
“And I mentioned it to the players afterwards that two overs down could cost us the World Test Championship. And so, we have to get better at that and make sure it doesn't happen in Sydney and Brisbane.
“It’s very disappointing, but the lesson is the things that we can control, we have to control. And we can’t relax for a second in Test cricket.”