Ashes 2019: “You’ve Got to Play on Skill, Not Emotion”: Justin Langer

Published 08/21/2019, 4:16 AM EDT
Justin Langer


The third Ashes Test are all set to begin from August 22 where a tough battle can expect with both bat and ball. Everyone has already known what can England pacer Jofra Archer is able to do but Australia are certainly not into that competition according to the coach Justin Langer.

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Jofra Archer produced some quality bouncers in the drawn second Test at Lord’s, which left former Australia captain Steve Smith retired hurt and his concussion replacement Marnus Labuschagne hit on the helmet. Smith suffered a delayed concussion after being hit on the uncovered area of his neck and was ruled out of the third Test at Headingley in Leeds.

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Langer further said Australia are not going to change their strategy.

“What we’re not going to do is get caught up in an emotional battle of who’s going to bowl the quickest bouncers,” Justin Langer said reporters at Headingley. “We’re here to win the Test match, not to see how many helmets we can hit. I’m sure the bouncer will still be part of every bowler’s armoury, if it helps us get batsmen out then we’ll use it. Otherwise we’ll keep sticking to the plan.”

“England will be the same, I’m sure they’ve got plans how they’ll get our batsmen out, not just knock them out,” he shared.

Jofra Archer (Image source: Reuters)

However, Jofra Archer’s bowling has impressed everyone and Langer is one of them. Langer was impressed not only by his pace but also his economy rate where he gave away about two runs per over and finished with a brilliant figure of 5-91.

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“Our guys play a lot of short-ball cricket in Australia – we tend to play on bouncy wickets … so they’re used to playing off the back foot and I’m sure they’ll prepare accordingly,” said the Australia coach.

“We know what we’re up against, and we’re really going to be ready for that. We have to be, otherwise we won’t win the series,” he added.

Australia won the first Test at Edgbaston by 251 runs and the second one ended in a tie. However, they need to play with cool heads in Leeds to retain the Ashes.

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“You’ve got to play on skill, not emotion,” Langer said.

“It’s hard for young players, even senior players, you can get caught up in the atmosphere, you can get caught up in the contest. But it’s not an ego game, you’ve got to just keep trusting your skill, keep watching the ball like a hawk. That’s the challenge of mental toughness, that’s the challenge of concentration, that’s the challenge of what the champion players do over the good players,” he concluded.

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Shruti Banerjee

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