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Ashes 2019: Week After Headingley Defeat Probably My Toughest as Coach - Langer

Australian coach Justin Langer acknowledged that the week after the narrow loss in the third Test at Headingley had been one of his toughest times in the job and that he along with the squad felt mentally exhausted.

Cricketnext Staff |September 2, 2019, 6:18 PM IST
Justin Langer

Australian coach Justin Langer acknowledged that the week after the narrow loss in the third Test at Headingley had been one of his toughest times in the job and that he along with the squad felt mentally exhausted.

However, Langer believes there isn't much time to ponder over the previous game and move on to plan for the next.

"I've learned a lot of lessons throughout my whole career and the last week of coaching has probably been one of the most challenging weeks of my coaching career after what happened at Leeds," Langer said. "That said, as challenging as it has been it's been awesome, I've loved this last week of coaching.

"You can sit back and feel sorry for yourself or put it under the carpet or you can work out ways to make sure we are up for the first ball of the next Test match. That's the part of dealing with 17 guys some have been on the road for a long time, there might be some memories of the past, all those things you can't ignore but you have to find solutions for how we win the next test match and that's the exciting part of coaching.

"Everyone in that change room, probably a lot of Australians as well, felt completely sick after that. I actually felt physically sick after it, and then I went back to my room, I wasn't sure whether to cry my eyes out or smash my hotel room. At that stage, when so much goes into something and for most people it's just a game of cricket, but when so much goes into it, it means a lot.

"You do take it personally because I know how much work's going into it. That was the biggest part of losing last week, that we felt we were so close and we let it slip. You never like to let opportunities slip in your life. That's ok, we'll make sure we learn from it, we'll learn a lot of lessons from that, short term and long term, and hopefully, we can do it better next time."

Ben Stokes’ heroics helped England square the series at 1-1 in Leeds and swung the momentum in the favour of the hosts with two Tests to go.

It has also led to comparisons with the 2005 Ashes, the greatest contest between the rivals in the last few decades, one in which Langer himself was a part of. However, now as a current Australian coach, he doesn't want the series to pan out the way it did 14 summers ago.

"They (the 2005 and 2019 Ashes) are similar and that is the beauty of history. Oftentimes it seems things are repeating themselves, but the beauty of the future is you have a chance to have a different outcome.

"If I look back on 2005, I can't believe how many say that's the greatest series we've ever been involved with and I say 'yeah but we lost it' we had all that success together. 'But it was so good for cricket, it was so good for Test cricket da da da'.

"The only problem with 2005 was that we lost the series so this has been a great series so far like a lot of Ashes, we will just be doing our best to reverse the result."

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