Langer reflects on defining moment of coaching career
The Australia coach opens up on the lessons he's learnt in the national job, highlighted by the 2018-19 Test series loss to India
11 April 2020, 02:06 PM AEST
Justin Langer believes Australia's historic home loss to India two summers ago will prove the making of him as a coach, just like his 2001 axing was the catalyst for his own Test rebirth.
Langer is currently on his first real break from cricket since taking over the top Australian coaching job in 2018, on lockdown in the country's west due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The team's June Test tour of Bangladesh has been postponed and a limited-overs trip to England for July is expected to follow.
The break could threaten Australia's momentum, given they have not lost a Test series in 15 months and have won four straight Twenty20 series ahead of October's World Cup.
Reflecting on his first two years as coach, Langer pinpointed Australia's doldrums of the 2018-19 summer as his turning point.
It was following the 2-1 Test series loss to India that players questioned Langer's continued negative feedback, while his wife also claimed he had stopped smiling.
"That was a massive wake-up call and a really tough time in my life," Langer told the Playmakers' Playbook podcast.
"I've got no doubt in 10 years’ time, I will look back on that period and it will be the making of my coaching career."
He also compared it to his low point as a player, where he was dropped as Australia's No.3 batsman at the start of the 2001 Ashes.
He later returned as one of the country's most successful openers alongside Matthew Hayden, scoring 16 of his 23 Test centuries.
"In 2001 when I got dropped from the Australian team at 31 years of age I thought that was the end," he said.
"That was the making of me as a cricketer and a person. It was amazing what lessons you can learn in adversity.
"In adversity, like in the great crisis we are going through right now (with the coronavirus).
"Like the crisis of the Australian cricket team when they put sandpaper on the ball, in adversity never waste it.
"Because great lessons come from them and if you grasp them you will be a better person."