Australia head coach Justin Langer expressed his frustration over losing valuable points due to a slow over-rate during the Boxing Day Test against India in Melbourne that cost them the World Test Championship. Australia remained in the box seat for playing the World Test Championship’s final for the most part of the tournament, if not for what described Justin Langer as a slack attitude.
Tim Paine’s men copped a four-point loss in their eight-wicket defeat to Melbourne as they fell two overs short of the required 15 overs per hour. It meant that Australia’s score was 69.2% behind New Zealand, which had 70% in their kitty. India, with 72%, will face New Zealand in the tournament-decider at the Rose Bowl Southampton in June.
Justin Langer admitted it was a silly excuse but revealed that their manager Gavin Dovey had gone away for Christmas with his family. And they realized after the game that they were behind the over rate. Justin Langer recalls being in the team room, speaking to Tim Paine and analyst, Dene Hills, about it. The Western Australian already had a bad feeling about it.
“This might be the silliest thing I’ve ever said, but our manager Gavin Dovey … he’d been away, he’d gone home for Christmas to be with his family. It wasn’t until after the game that we realised our over rate was down. Now, that’s really slack on our behalf. I remember we were in the team room afterwards and I spoke to Painey and Dene Hills, our analyst, about it. I was a bit grumpy about it and I thought ‘imagine if this cost us the World Test Championship,” Langer said as quoted by India Today.
It certainly became incredibly significant over the weekend: Justin Langer
Justin Langer remembers mentioning it to his side that being two overs short of the required rate could cost them the ICC World Test Championship and warned to ensure it does not happen in the future. The 105-Test veteran underlined that it became extremely significant over the weekend.
“And I mentioned it to the players afterwards that two overs down could cost us the World Test Championship. And so, we have to get better at that and make sure it doesn’t happen in Sydney and Brisbane. It was relevant at the time and it certainly became incredibly significant over the weekend,” he added.