WA Today – Justin Langer’s appointment on a four-year contract as Australia’s new coach capped a week where Cricket Australia began to rehabilitate its brand, but intriguing questions remain.
- Langer, the tough-as-teak former opening batsman who took a decade to finally secure his spot in the Test team, is seen as the man who will regenerate on-field performances and, more importantly, begin to repair a culture that spiralled out of control in Cape Town during the ill-fated series against South Africa.
- Now officially in charge with a home Test series against India, a World Cup in England and an Ashes series also in the Old Dart all on the horizon over the next 16 months, Langer, as coach and selector, will have a major say in several decisions.
- Ideally, the new one-day international skipper can remain through next year’s World Cup but captaincy in the 50-over format is not as demanding as Tests, so a change between now and then would not be catastrophic.
- Simpson was coach when Langer made his Test debut in a gut-wrenching loss to the West Indies in Adelaide in 1992-93 in a team that was two years away from being the world’s best.
- But should Langer then revive fortunes, rectify cultural issues and even claim next year’s World Cup, as Simpson’s side rebounded to do in 1987, Langer has the chance to match Simpson in terms of his legacy.