Qantas Tour of the West Indies
St Kitts loss a reflection of where we are at
Performances in the Caribbean so far an accurate reflection of where the Australian ODI team is at right now, but there are lots of positives
15 June 2016, 04:48 PM AEST
Justin Langer was Australia's caretaker coach for the Caribbean tri-series, the full-time coach of the Western Warriors and Perth Scorchers and a Baggy Green legend with 7,696 Test runs
I've always viewed fielding as a key barometer of a cricket team. If your throwing is good and you're switched on and you're doing all the little things well, that's always a good sign for me.
And I felt we were a bit off in that department in our loss to the West Indies the other night. One of the basics you learn as a kid is that catches win matches, so of course it hurts when you miss some opportunities like we did in St Kitts.
But I think a performance like the one we had is simply a reflection of where this team is at right now.
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The reality is we've lost a lot of experience since the World Cup last year. Guys like Mitchell Johnson, Brad Haddin, Shane Watson and Michael Clarke are genuine superstars of the game and we can’t call on them anymore. And we didn't have David Warner or Mitchell Starc against the Windies as well, so you're left with a team that's quite inexperienced internationally.
We're not the team we used to be so performances like that will happen from time to time.
The guys have trained hard and tried their guts out, but that's just where the Australian one-day team is at right now. They're a really good bunch of kids, they all work hard and it's just about them learning to adapt to the pace of international cricket. You can't just give people experience and confidence - they've got to earn those things.
The upside is we can get better and their confidence will grow with every good performance and the more experience they get. And I've been really impressed with Steve Smith's leadership on this tour. He's got a great feel for the team and I see a real upside with him as captain as well.
I know I've said it already in this series, but I can't stress enough how impressed I've been with Dave Warner. I haven't had much to do with him since I was the batting coach a few years ago, and his transformation from what I knew of him then until now is quite unbelievable.
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And I think it showed the other night how much we're going to miss him for the rest of this series. His energy in the field is inspirational and if you take that out, other people have to step up. That's what we want from the other guys for the rest of this series.
I know a bit has been made about Glenn Maxwell, who we've left out of the side for the past two matches. He's obviously really disappointed and as a coach and selector, that's exactly what you want. It's a great thrill and a privilege to play for Australia and the fact he's hurting is a good thing for us.
I've said to the boys before that I don't envy the position they're in as players these days. Everything gets measured in the modern game. Whether you play Tests, one-dayers, domestic cricket, IPL - everything gets measured. Statistics come up everywhere with things like GPS tracking and the like, so you simply can't hide in the modern game.
And Maxi will be honest and say his performances since the one-day series last summer, through the IPL and the first two games here haven't been as good as they need to be to be a member of the Australian cricket team.
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But he's still upbeat and his attitude has been good. He's been having a red hot dip and we respect that he's still been really switched on. But he also knows that no one has a God given right to play for Australia. He's working hard and he's just waiting for another chance.
Just finally, the whole group was saddened by the news that Darren Lehmann's father passed away this week. Boof always talks about the importance of family and having loved ones around the group, so it's a real tragedy for him and we all really feel for him.
Life has a mysterious way about it sometimes and the fact Boof is at home instead of over here meant he was able to have a few days with his dad this week. It's amazing the way it's worked out that he was in Australia when it happened. He's definitely in all of our thoughts over here.