starts in
days hours mins

India vs Australia: Smith is Our Kohli and We Can't Wait to Have Him Back - Langer

| December 26, 2018, 5:38 AM IST

Mitchell Marsh is likely to be recalled for the Boxing Day Test against India after coach Justin Langer endorsed the all-rounder's potential value on a pitch which tends to test the bowlers.

The hosts are yet to announce their playing XI but Peter Handscomb's middle order position looked in jeopardy after Langer backed Marsh who missed the first two Tests of the four-match series currently level at 1-1.

"In a perfectly balanced side, you've got someone who can bowl some overs," Langer told reporters on Monday.

"And Mitch becomes an attractive commodity on a wicket unlike Adelaide and Perth... although there's a bit of moisture in it, we also know the history of it."

Number five Handscomb has managed 68 runs in four innings against India.

Forecast for warm weather and only three days' gap before the final Test in Sydney also means Australia would be extra careful about managing the workload of their frontline pacemen.

"Our fast bowlers have been lucky, we've bowled less overs than India's bowlers at the moment, particularly (Jasprit) Bumrah, and that's an important part of the series," Langer said. "We're always looking at how we're trying to manage it.

"In this instance, this is the only Test we're thinking about. But we're always aware that there's two back-to-back Test matches, which is tough."

Langer joked the selection dilemma had taken his mind off everything else.

"Pete's a very good player of spin bowling... and Mitch is a pretty good player of spin bowling too," he said.

"We'll weigh up all those things, and they're the hard decisions. All those factors, trust me, we think about it.

"It's a bit sad, really; I'm not thinking about what Christmas present I'm going to give to my kids, I'm thinking about who plays spin better, whether we'll play the extra bowler, how many overs have the fast bowlers bowled. It's sad."

Langer also said he could not wait to welcome Steve Smith back in the side once the former captain has served out his ball-tampering ban, which ends in March.

"We can't wait to have him back. He's the Virat Kohli of the Australian cricket team," Langer said, likening the 29-year-old to India's talismanic captain and batting mainstay.

Related Story

Top Videos

Cricketnext Staff | Monday Jul 15, 2019 | 08:28 am IST

WATCH | Super Over in World Cup Final is Incredible: Woakes

Cricketnext Staff | Monday Jul 15, 2019 | 08:08 am IST

WATCH | Everyone in Team Was Looking at Me to Bowl Super Over: Archer

More videos

Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
IND
9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
2
AUS
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
3
ENG
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
4
NZ
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
5
PAK
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
6
SL
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
7
SA
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
8
BAN
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9
WI
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
10
AFG
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more