Ashes 2019: Justin Langer - Australia are lucky to have Steve Smith batting like he is

Sport360 staff 15:07 10/09/2019
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Justin Langer and Steve Smith.

Australia head coach Justin Langer believes that Steve Smith’s purple patch in the 2019 Ashes has afforded some breathing space to other misfiring batsmen in the side like David Warner and Marcus Harris.

Smith’s 671 runs in just five innings have been at the forefront of Australia’s Ashes campaign in England which saw the visitors retain the urn after a 185-run win in the fourth Test at Manchester.

However, apart from Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, the rest of the Australia batting order has had its share of struggles in the series. Warner has been the biggest culprit in that aspect with the left-handed opener averaging less than 10 after being dismissed six times in the series by Stuart Broad.

“He (Smith) has done a lot for Australian cricket for the last few years actually, and so has Dave Warner,” Langer was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

“But we’ve also got to remember, Travis Head is new to Test cricket, Marnus (Labuschagne) is new to Test cricket, Marcus Harris is new to Test cricket, Cameron Bancroft is new to Test cricket.

“You can’t just give them that experience, they’ve got to earn that and we’re very thankful to have Steve batting like he is. We’re lucky to have him but Test cricket takes time. We’ve got to respect that, it takes a lot of time.

“Davey (Warner) hasn’t had a great series but imagine how good the team will be when he starts having a great series and we’re hopeful he’ll do that in the next Test match.”

While Langer is of the belief that the team’s relatively inexperienced batsmen need more time to establish their place in the Test squad, he has warned them that they must come good sooner rather than later.

“As Australian Test cricketers, you’ve still got to perform but … whether it makes a difference that we won the Ashes or not, time will tell,” the Australia head coach stated.

“You’ve still got to perform whether you’re young or a veteran but we also have to recognise they are young batsmen and it’s a really tough school and hopefully they’ll come through at some point,” he added.

Having taken a decisive 2-1 lead in the five-match series, the visitors will now be hoping to secure their first Ashes win on English soil since 2001 when the final Test against England at the Oval gets underway on Thursday.

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