Every time a team plays a series in Australia, the outside talks suddenly become lot more relevant. The sledging certainly becomes a topic of discussion and things start to get heated up well before the series. Even though the things have changed post the sandpaper scandal in 2018, as there has been a shift in the attitude. The Australians now don’t play in getting under someone’s skin way but they also never shy away from a verbal battle with the opponent here and there.
They are likely to continue this tradition this time around too but the manner of it will be fairly decent according to their head coach Justin Langer. He said the players will engage in verbal battles if required but they won’t cross the limit by abusing. ” Up for the verbal banter but no place for abusing ” is his team’s mantra for the upcoming series.
“There’s plenty of room for banter, having fun and having that competitive instinct but there’s no room for abuse. Anyone who’s watched what’s happened in the last couple of years (can see), we’ve talked about our behaviours on and off the field,” Justin Langer was quoted as saying
He also believes sledging adds a different dimension and a whole lot of theater to the game. He illustrated last Test series as an example where there were a lot of banters which generated a lot of interest among public to watch the games. He also admired Virat Kohli’s way of banter.
“We loved what Virat Kohli was doing, there was a great sense of humour and a great sense of theatre to it all,” he added.
Before 2018, the Aussies knew only one way of how to intimidate the opposition but now they have changed the approach under Justin Langer. Now they play with a little bit holdback approach letting the bat and ball do all the talking.
Joe Burns will open in Test, Smith starts from 1st ODI
Even though there has been a lot of talk around the young talent Will Pucovski, Langer confirmed that it would be Joe Burns who will get the first opportunity in the Test series. An opportunity of Pucovski awaits as well but he might have to wait a bit longer.
“We think very, very highly of Will, he has enormous talent. When the opportunity comes, he’s ready to play Test cricket. The opportunity hopefully will come for him at some point, whether it’s this series or a series to come,” Justin Langer said.
At the same time, Langer also said the Steve Smith will start the ODI series without any doubt. The ODI series begins on 27th November while the Test series will start on 17th December.