Amidst the hailstorm unleashed by former coach Justin Langer’s fiery interview in which he accused ‘anonymous’ cowards in the Australian cricket team of complaining to the media about his much-criticised coaching style, captain Pat Cummins has hit back defending his teammates. Langer had accused the players of leaking information to suit their own agendas which led to him being dumped as the head coach less than a year after he oversaw their maiden T20 world cup triumph in UAE.
On the eve of the first Test against West Indies in Perth, Cummins responded to queries around Langer’s comments.
“There’s no cowards in an Australian cricket team, not ever," Cummins said Tuesday. “I’d probably never disclose private conversations. I think it’s disappointing sometimes the focus gets drawn to off-field issues but it hasn’t really affected our team."
However, Langer though tried softening the blow later, calling the players “like my younger brothers".
Cummins has responded positively to the clarification, denying any bad blood with the former Australia opener. “I think there’s no ill will to what he was trying to do and he clarified afterwards," he said.
Cummins continued, “I think he had a think about it and clarified it, so thank him for that. But we’re really proud of the last 12 months, how we’ve fronted up, the way we’ve played, the way we’ve conducted ourselves. Players can certainly hold their heads high."
There are also speculations that the team could be in for a frosty reception in Perth, Langer’s hometown in the aftermath of his unceremonious exit from the Australian backroom staff.
However, Cummins doesn’t feel that way.
“We haven’t felt that at all. I know there’s been some conjecture but I think it camouflages over a lot of the good stuff that’s been going on and support we’ve been receiving," Cummins said.
Australia also announced their playing XI for the series opener.
“To be honest it is the most stable team I have played in ever. You could probably have picked the side 12 months ago, I feel like we are in a good spot," Cummins said.