Langer saga: Cummins knew he would be criticised but he couldn’t afford to get affected

Australian Test skipper Pat Cummins has said that when the Justin Langer saga was unfolding earlier this month, he knew that being the Test captain he would be criticised, but he couldn’t afford to let the issue trouble him beyond a point because of the upcoming series against Pakistan.

Langer stepped down as Australian cricket team head coach unhappy with Cricket Australia (CA) offering him just a fresh six-month contract after the team’s 4-0 success in the Ashes. It has been reported that some players were unhappy with Langer’s “volatile micromanagement style”.

Andrew McDonald has been made Australia’s interim coach for the month-long series in Pakistan beginning on March 4 at Rawalpindi.

“It was okay, I felt for Justin as much as anyone else, but I knew when I became captain I was going to cop it for different things,” Cummins SEN 1170 Breakfast on Friday.

“If anything, it kind of reminded me I’ve got to look after the team and do what’s best for Australian cricket. All the noise and things that might come with it come from a good place, but I can’t let it affect me too much,” added the pace bowler.

Langer’s resignation brought about criticism of Cummins as he had refused to endorse the former opener for a long-term second coaching stint after the Ashes. Cummins later had a press conference where he clarified his stand and refuted suggestions that the players were the sole reason for Langer’s resignation.

“Certainly our feedback was heard, as I think it should be,” said Cummins on Friday. “But to say that we are decision-makers is quite far from the truth. It’s a high-performance setup, there’s the (Cricket Australia) board that makes decisions, so of course, people within the environment get consulted, that includes senior players, staff members, which I think has always been the case.

“I think that’s the right way to do things, it’s healthy. Nothing untoward, for sure.”

On interim coach Andrew McDonald, who has been praised by white-ball skipper Aaron Finch and pace bowler Scott Boland, Cummins said, “I think he’s certainly capable (to be the full-time coach), for sure. (It’s) certainly not my decision, I think they’ll run a process probably after this series, so we’ll see how he goes. But he’s been fantastic, he’s widely respected and experienced, so if he puts his hand up I’m sure they’ll take a close look at him.”

McDonald will be on board the flight along with the Australian team on their historic tour of Pakistan next month, the first time they are travelling to the Asian country since 1998.

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