Pat Cummins has broken his silence, speaking for the first time since Justin Langer’s resignation, saying the players felt like a change was needed.
Cummins released a statement via Cricket Australia providing clarity over Langer’s departure.
In his statement, Cummins acknowledged Langer’s coaching style was intense but said he and fellow players had no issue with it.
“Justin has acknowledged that his style was intense. And it was,” Cummins said.
“He has apologised to players and staff for his intensity.
“I think the apology was unnecessary. Because the players were OK with JL’s intensity.”
Speaking to media, the 28-year-old said the feedback from the playing group and support staff revealed a calmer, collaborative approach was needed.
“This group, looking forward, there are a few things that I think through a review process we really wanted and felt was important to get the best out of our players. I think the players will benefit from a more collaborative approach,” Cummins said.
“A big theme for this summer has been being more calm, more composed.
“That’s been really clear in the feedback from players, support staff and Cricket Australia. That’s the direction we want to take the team.
“I think we’ve been really well-schooled in the last four years by JL, in how to conduct ourselves, he’s got unimpeachable values and we’re really thankful for that.
“He was brilliant, I think he was what we needed. I think he’s made us better people, better players because of it.
“Now I think we’re really well versed in what that is, we know when we put on the baggy green, what that means, how we need to conduct ourselves so absolutely don’t want to lose sight of that.”
The number one ranked Test bowler thanked his former coach for the legacy he left. Recognising that Langer was the right man to lead Australia when he first got the head coaching role in 2018.
“There are so many positives to what JL [Justin Langer] has brought to the table, he was the perfect man for the times, he did a fantastic job,” he said.
“I absolutely loved working with him, [I] thought he was brilliant.
“I think some of these skillsets are a little bit different to perhaps his traditional coaching style. I think he tweaked his coaching style in the last six months and did a really good job.
“But we think it’s now the right time for a different direction, and it’s a matter of opinion, but we think it’s the right one.”
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The feedback from players and staff about Langer has gone back over a two-year period. Cummins said Langer shouldn’t have been surprised by Cricket Australia’s review.
“I think being in a public role is always going to come with some commentary and some scrutiny around the [review] process. I know Cricket Australia wanted to run a thorough process and give it its due course,” he said.
“I think especially JL [Justin Langer] at the end of it, he hasn’t been fairly treated, and that is not on, and I hope we can learn from that.
“I don’t think he should be surprised though, it’s been two years [of] evaluations.
“In our environment at Cricket Australia, we get 360 reviewed all the time. We get our strengths and weakness poked and prodded, always trying to learn.
“It’s become more public in the last week or two, but I don’t think there’s any big surprise.”
The Australian Test captain said that he has been in contact with Langer in the past few days, maintaining the pair still have a good relationship.
“We’ve had a few messages over the last few days and we’re all good,” he said.
“From my point of view, I’ve just got huge respect for the man, and I’ve loved what he’s done. I owe him a lot, he’s been brilliant, not only to this team, but for me individually,”
“He’s given me a lot of opportunities [and] backed me in a lot, that’s what I passed onto to him. Hopefully, we can catch up soon and talk about it, I’m sure he’s someone in the future I’ll keep leaning on.”
Current interim coach Andrew McDonald is one of the candidates being considered to take over the full-time role. McDonald is well-liked among the playing group for his calm approach.
Cummins said McDonald has been brilliant around the team since joining the Australian coaching set up in October 2019.
“It’s not my place to speculate on who’s going to get the job… He’s [Andrew McDonald] a really good people manager, he knows how to get the best of each individual, and I love working with him,” he said.
“I don’t know about the process going forward or who’s going to be up for it. I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes for it, but in the interim, I’m excited to work with him over in Pakistan.”
Since Langer’s departure, several Australian cricket legends have voiced their opinions on the debacle. Pat Cummins’ former Australian teammate, Mitchell Johnson was particularly vocal towards Cummins and his role in the situation.
Cummins said he disagrees with what his fellow fast bowler said and understands Johnson was just standing up for his mate.
“I can’t believe a fast bowler is having a go at me,” he said jokingly.
“Look, he’s just standing up for his mate. I absolutely disagree with what he said.
“No, he hasn’t reached out, but that’s fine, he is entitled to his opinion. He’s standing up for his mate, I can hold my head high, so I’m fine.”
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