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Justin Langer, Living In The Reality Of The Present

The final Australian player had arrived at the makeshift shelter. The support crew had also hauled the training equipment away from the nets area. After nearly two hours, the music within the tent had finally ceased. The laughter and chit-chat had stopped. As some of the Aussies began walking towards the bus, they were replaced by the hurried sounds of luggage being packed.

Justin Langer was standing alone in the middle of Adelaide Oval No 2 bouncing a football around. He wore his mask as a scarf around his neck and held a water bottle in the other hand. The football would roll away now and again. Langer would walk over to the ball and begin kicking it into his right hand if this happened. With the left, twice, and then with the right, a couple of times. Then it’s back to bouncing it again. It was the only time he seemed pensive or at least deep in thought during the two-and-a-half-hour discussion.

 South Australian Capital

Perhaps he was simply taking advantage of a beautiful winter afternoon in the capital of South Australia. Perhaps he was planning on returning to Perth in three days. With less than an hour until the first siren, he could have been thinking about how his favorite West Coast Eagles would fare in their vital AFL match against the Brisbane Lions, given the shape of the ball with him. But, given everything that has happened in Australian cricket in the previous 10 days, you can’t help but think Langer was thinking about his future as a coach.

Langer appeared to be in a good humor

Despite the negative comments and stories about his general demeanor around the club, Langer appeared to be in good humor. The majority of the players on display were as well. Since arriving in Adelaide from Dhaka over ten days ago, it was only their third outdoor visit under quarantine.

They couldn’t have asked for nicer weather to be out and about, with temperatures in the 18-19 degree range and beautiful blue skies above.  Langer was one of the first to emerge. And it didn’t take him long to narrow his emphasis solely on Alex Carey, a local lad. Langer led Australia’s newest ODI skipper into a net with his pink sidearm in tow, where the two began with a few modest throwdowns.

In the meantime, Wes Agar was delivering a soft seam-up to his brother Ashton in the neighboring net. After that, Langer and Carey, who were left out of the T20 World Cup squad, had a series of technical discussions. They appeared to be centered primarily on the left-head hander’s position, particularly when he tries to force the ball through the leg-side.

Langer seemed to imply that if Carey could keep his head in line with his backfoot while facing a right arm from over the wicket, he would be more open in his stance. That would allow him to play the on-drive and flick from a stronger base instead of risking bringing his bat across his pads, which has been a problem for the wicketkeeper-batsman.

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