Need a more collaborative, more composed head coach: Cummins

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Australian Test skipper Pat Cummins urged Cricket Australia (CA) on Wednesday to look for a more collaborative head coach to replace Justin Langer, who stepped down recently after being told he would only get a six-month contract extension.

According to reports, Langer’s position as coach had become shaky in August last year after players and support staff had made their dislike known of his “volatile micromanagement style”.

Hours after releasing a statement — where he said that “players wanted new style of coaching and skill-set”, even though they had learnt to deal with Langer’s “intense” coaching methods over the years –, Cummins held a press conference where made a case for a “more calm, more composed” new coach.

Cummins said that while Langer was “the perfect man for the times” when Australia were emerging from the Sandpaper-gate scandal which rocked the team in 2018, it was time to move on from his “traditional coaching style”.

“We’ve been really well-schooled by JL (Langer) over the last four years in how to conduct ourselves,” Cummins said of the former coach, who had taken over following the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal in 2018.

But the Test skipper said that the player and some support staff had told Cricket Australia (CA) that the national teams required a new type of coach.

“This group, looking forward, there’s a few things that I think through a review process (with CA) we really wanted, and felt was important to get the best out of our players. I think the players will benefit from a more collaborative approach. A big theme for this summer has been being more calm, more composed,” Cummins was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

“That’s been really clear in the feedback from players, support staff and Cricket Australia. That’s the direction we want to take the team. There were so many positives to what JL has brought to the table. He was the perfect man for the times, he did a fantastic job — I absolutely loved working with him, thought he was brilliant. Some of these skill-sets (desired by players) are a little bit different to perhaps his traditional coaching style. I think he’s tweaked his coaching style the last six months, and did a really, really good job.

“But we think now is the right time for a different direction. It’s a matter of opinion but we think it’s the right one,” Cummins said ahead of the five-match T20I series against Sri Lanka beginning in Sydney on February 11.

Cummins said that CA had a robust and thorough review process of both the players and the coaches and hinted that the same process would have applied to Langer as well.

“Being in a public role is always going to come with some commentary and scrutiny around the (review). I know Cricket Australia wanted to give it due process and let it run its course. If JL felt like, at the end of it, that he hasn’t been fairly treated, then that’s not on and I hope we can learn from that. I’d say that I don’t think he should be surprised though. It’s been two years of evaluations.

“In our environment at Cricket Australia, we get 360-reviewed all the time. We get our strengths and weaknesses poked and prodded. It’s become more public in the last week or two but I don’t think there’s any big surprises,” added Cummins.

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