‘Didn’t know whether to cry on his shoulders or punch him’: Justin Langer recalls Steve Waugh dropping him from 2001 Ashes Test
“This is my hero and my big brother, telling me that I was out [of the first Test], and I was literally shocked, I just didn’t see it coming,” the former left-handed batsman Justin Langer added.Updated: Jul 27, 2020 08:51 IST
Australia head coach Justin Langer shares a good camaraderie with former Australia captain Steve Waugh. Langer was appointed in as the Australia coach following the revamp of Cricket Australia in the aftermath of 2018 ball tampering scandal, and a year later, Langer brought in Steve Waugh to mentor his team for the Ashes tournament. But despite the great bond between the two, Langer, in a recent interview, recalled that he was not pleased when Waugh had told him that he would not be playing the first Ashes Test in 2001.
“About two days before the first Test, I had a knock on the door from the legend Steve Waugh, who literally was my hero. [He] knocks on the door of my hotel room… walked into my room and says, ‘I don’t know how to tell you this mate, but you are not playing in the first Test.’ I didn’t know whether to cry on his shoulders or punch him out,” Langer told former Aussie allrounder Shane Watson on Lessons Learnt with the Greats podcast, as quoted by Fox Cricket.
“This is my hero and my big brother, telling me that I was out [of the first Test], and I was literally shocked, I just didn’t see it coming,” the former left-handed batsman added.
Langer added that he was the casualty of the fact that Damien Martyn was in supreme form in limited-overs cricket, and the team could not ignore him for Tests. “Damien Martyn had been in such amazing form in the one-day series leading up to it and he was so good [that] they couldn’t ignore him, and I was the casualty from it,” Langer added.
The former Aussie batsman missed out on four Tests from the series, but eventually got a chance in the 5th and final Test, in which he scored a magnificent ton. Langer, though, suffered an injury during the innings and had to retire hurt at 102. Australia won the match by an innings and 25 runs.