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India vs Australia: Smith and Warner Comebacks Need to be Handled With Care - Justin Langer

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: November 29, 2018, 10:28 AM IST
India vs Australia: Smith and Warner Comebacks Need to be Handled With Care - Justin Langer

Australian coach Justin Langer believes that the process of comeback for the currently-banned Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will need to be dealt with very carefully.

Only recently did Cricket Australia refuse to reduce the sentences, which was a result of being a central part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal, and the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner can begin to be looked at for the national team only after another four months.

Having taken over from former teammate Darren Lehmann after the disastrous South Africa tour, Langer’s next assignment is the home series against India. The former left-handed batsman has also set the ball rolling with regards to the smooth return for Smith and Warner by speaking to them individually.

Smith, who faced fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in the nets at Sydney on Sunday had breakfast with Langer, while Warner met the coach before Australia’s tour of UAE and on Monday too.

"There's going to be a process for the boys to come back and it is really important we start working on that process from now," said Langer. "We can't get to the point and just say 'right they're back'. It's not fair on them, it's not fair on the team, it's not fair on everyone."

"It's nice to have Davey in and Steve had a hit yesterday, I had breakfast with him on Monday morning and I caught up with Davey for a couple of hours that afternoon as well. I didn't deliberately catch up with them separately. I caught up with Davey in Brisbane before we went to the UAE because I wanted to see him face to face. It's one thing exchanging text messages and emails, you have to talk face to face. We had a great catch-up.

"It was the first time I'd seen Steven the other day. I wanted it to be between us because there's lots to be spoken about and then over time we'll bring the brotherhood together and everything will be okay. It was great. I speak to Cameron Bancroft a bit, they've been through a tough 12 months, they've been penalised for making a really big mistake, no doubt about that, but we've got to get them into the group and every opportunity we get is a positive one."

Langer is no stranger to situations of turmoil in cricket and he compared this to the problems faced by Western Australia a few years ago. It was under his leadership that the divided team and feuding state association came together to eventually form a strong unit.

"I think we have all got to get together," Langer said. "When I first took over Western Australian cricket it was like a dysfunctional family and what I meant by that then the media hated the team, the team hated them back, club cricket hated the WACA, the WACA hated them back, the past players hated the WACA, the WACA hated them back.

"There was a lot of angst. I'm probably feeling that a bit now in Australian cricket, there's a lot of angst and for someone who is passionate about Australian cricket and now the coach I like harmony. I like family. A lot's gone on, let's not shy away from that, the closer we can bring the family back together, you would say a dysfunctional family, I know that's a headline for you, but that's what I felt back then.

"If you think about the ACA and CA, the public and the team, the media and the team, it's a bit disjointed at the moment, the more we can bring it back, the more harmony you get the happier environment for everyone. That includes the boys."
First Published: November 29, 2018, 10:00 AM IST

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