Former Australia captain Michael Clarke believes that senior players in the team like opener David Warner, white-ball captain Aaron Finch, Test skipper Tim Paine and coach Justin Langer are surviving on borrowed time in the team. He added that with every win, they can hold on to their place. But with losses, the quartet will come under pressure. Australia are chasing a rare double of winning the ICC men’s T20 World Cup followed by the Ashes at home.
“In regards to Lang and the players, you look at Aaron Finch, David Warner in the T20s, if we win they hold their place, if we don’t they’ll be under pressure. The Ashes are going to be the same, Tim Paine as captain, and a lot of these players, if we can win the series, Justin Langer as coach will keep his job, ” Clarke said to Nine’s Today on Wednesday.
“But if we don’t, that comes with the role. We’re so results driven in everything we do that everyone respects that. I think Lang gets that as well,” added Clarke, who captained Australia to 2015 Cricket World Cup win at home.
Clarke went on to talk about Langer’s approach as a coach, saying that his intense approach may not sit well with everyone. “He’s copped it, JL. Lang’s a great man, I loved playing with him, he was batting coach and assistant coach when I was captain, and he did a great job. The one thing about Lang’s style is he’s tough.”
“There’s a lot of expectation that he has on himself as a person, a player and now a coach, but he’s got that same expectation on his team. Some players don’t like that, some players really enjoy that, and that’s the balance in coaching a professional sporting team. You’ve got to get the best out of each individual, and that’s easier said than done.”
Clarke expressed happiness about England all-rounder Ben Stokes making himself available for the Ashes after taking time off from the game due to mental well-being and recovering from a left index finger injury which required two surgeries.
“It’s great that Stokesy is coming. Ben Stokes’ journey is one that I think every sports lover should take a look at. You talk about someone who went through some really tough times and hit rock bottom, but he’s been able to turn things around. He’s a good man, a tough competitor, and he’ll help that England team, there’s no doubt about it.”
Australia next face 2014 champions Sri Lanka in their second match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Dubai on Thursday.