Cricket Australia Items/Blogs/justin-langer/2012/9/28/no-excuses

Justin Langer

Langer: No excuses

28 September 2012

Even though my playing days are over I still love match day.

As a coach, the nerves are very different than when I was playing but there is still nothing like being at the big game.


Tonight at the Premedasa Stadium in Colombo the atmosphere is sure to be electric.  Every game in Sri Lanka has a party atmosphere with the locals dancing, singing and banging their drums from ball one until the game is over. 


Playing Sri Lanka at home is a carnival, but taking on India always takes on a significant interest across the world. 


This first game of our Super Eights leg of the tournament against the super power of world cricket promises to be a ripping game of cricket


With over a billion supporters, India come with plenty of hype and fan fare and wherever we play them there is always a huge support base following their games.


While Friday night footy is huge at home, Friday night at the WT20 promises to be a breath taking show.  When you add thousands of ardent Indians, to tens of thousands of cricket mad Sri Lankans, the noise and colour will be explosive. 


The sprinkling of passionate and loyal Australian supporters might get lost in the racket but their support will add the welcome colours of green and gold and an Australian flag or two to the mix of excitement at the show.


Our win against the West Indies six days ago provides a confident boosting platform for our launch into the business end of this tournament.  From now there will be no soft games and there is no doubt the challenge is on to find the best T20 team in the world.



Tonight it is India, Sunday South Africa and Tuesday Pakistan. 


A simple equation

The equation is tough but simple.  Within five days we will progress to the semi-finals or we will fly home. 


The challenges we face include the increasingly spinning pitches.  Thankfully, our preparation against Pakistan and in particular Saeed Ajmal, and his spinning partners, has given us a good lead up to this sub continent threat.


Humidity and heat is always tough in Colombo but as I have mentioned before, it feels like winter here compared to the debilitating climate of Dubai.  Three weeks in the UAE has nullified the trial of the elements here.


A 24 hour stomach virus has been doing its rounds amongst the team, but so far all reports this morning suggest most of the guys are recovering in time to take on the Indians tonight.


The final challenge comes from the competition.  We are playing some very good teams and any one of this final eight could win the tournament.  


Leading into Sri Lanka a lot was made of our ranking in T20 cricket and there are reasons for this, but after four weeks together, it feels like the team is starting to gel. 


No excuses

We now have no excuses.  Pitches, weather, bugs and competition are all part of this cut throat world we live and play in.  We are ready to go and the boys are pumped about the contest.


Much emphasis has been placed on the top three of Watson, Warner and Mike Hussey, but it will take a combined effort for us to make the necessary runs to progress through to the semi finals.  Cameron White, George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christian and Matthew Wade have all worked hard and look in good shape.


Equally, young guns Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc can't do it alone.  Evergreen Brad Hogg and Christian, Watson and Maxwell will all have to team up to keep the opposition from getting one more run than us. 


A battle between Australia and India is never the same without the introduction of our old sparring partner Harbajhan Singh.  He is back in the Indian team and bowling well.  Nullifying is off spinners, doosra's and antagonistic energy will go along way to the outcome of this game.


India's batting is superb on paper and it will be interesting to see if they select Virender Sehwag.  There has been a lot of talk about his selection, or not.  Either way, our bowlers will have to be at their best to tame the skill and flair of India's batsmen.


Yesterday the Southern Stars triumphed against the Indian women.  Hopefully this will be a continued trend tonight. 


From Colombo



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
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