INDIA TOUR OF AUSTRALIA, 2018-19
Cricbuzz Staff •
Virat Kohli (c) celebrates the wicket of Usman Khawaja on the second day of the first Test. © Getty
Justin Langer, Australia’s head coach, said that if the Australians were to celebrate wickets like Indian captain Virat Kohli did in the first innings of the first Test in Adelaide, they’d be viewed as “the worst blokes in the world”. Langer was talking about Kohli’s animated celebration at the fall of Aaron Finch’s wicket in particular.
Fall of Australian wickets spurred Kohli into animated celebrations, which the broadcasters didn’t let off a chance in replaying. However, while “passion” was used to describe the Indian captain’s celebrations, Langer suggested that there was a “fine line” between going over the top and being passionate and celebrating.
“You love seeing that passion in sport, don’t you?” said Langer on Saturday (December 8) to Fox Sports. “Mind you, I think if we did that at the moment we’d be the worst blokes in the world, but it’s a fine line, isn’t it? That’s the truth of it. But I love seeing the passion, I mean that’s great passion but, as I said, there’s a fine line isn’t there?
“He’s a superstar of the game and he’s the captain. We’ve talked for as long as I can remember in Australian cricket teams that you want to keep the opposition captain down as much as possible. You love seeing that passion in sport.”
Langer also defended his batsmen, after Sachin Tendulkar took to social media to describe their approach on the second day as “defensive”. Australia ended the day on 191 for 7 on what was a challenging pitch to bat on, ekeing out a comparison between the present team and the great Australian teams of the past.
#TeamIndia should make the most of this situation and not lose their grip. The defensive mindset by the Australian batsmen at home is something Ive not seen before in my experience. @ashwinravi99 has been very effective and has played a role to help the team be on top, for now.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) December 7, 2018
“You’re always looking to score, every one of them is looking to score, but they bowled really well. Ashwin bowled well, we’ve got to find different ways of playing him, that’ll come. But it’s a very different team this batting order than what we’ve seen in past Australian teams.
“One thing I learned from Allan Border 25 years ago is there’s a lot of time in Test cricket, you have to be patient. In Test cricket, we’ve probably gone a bit away from it actually over a bit of time, but the great players are patient, they bat for a long time and that’s what we can do. I think we get a bit preoccupied with how T20 goes and to an extent one-day cricket, but in Test cricket there’s so much time, there’s five days to bat. Particularly in a long series like this we’ve got to wear down the opponent, so we probably missed an opportunity to do that.
“After the day’s play, I knew there’d be a lot of comments about, like Sachin’s comments. And if that starts affecting our players then that’s going to really hurt us so the key is to get as close to the mark as we can and regardless of whether it’s no more runs or go ahead of them it’s going to be key how we bowl in the second innings.”
Australia were eventually bowled out for 235, just 15 behind India’s first innings total, after Travis Head added crucial runs with the tail. Although conceding a lead to India, Australia would’ve taken positives from that, given that they were reduced to 127 for 6 at one stage.