Langer: Australia better for 2018 whitewashing

The Australian cricket team is better for the 5-0 ODI series whitewashing handed to them by England in 2018, head coach Justin Langer said.

Ahead of next month’s six-game tour Langer has spoken about the pain of that 2018 series, which was the first time that an Australian side had lost all five matches in a ODI series against England.

Australia went into that series amid the fallout from the ball-tampering scandal, which saw captain Steve Smith and opening batsman David Warner banned for 12 months and Langer replace Darren Lehmann as head coach.

Langer likened the series to David and Goliath, saying: “When we went there two years ago, it felt hugely different. I didn’t know any of the players, the players didn’t know me. The support staff were all getting to know each other.

“We’d come through a great crisis which had rattled everyone. There were scars everywhere and we took on the best one day team in the world at the time.

“It was really hard, because the expectation is that any Australian cricket team is going to win every game and we lost 5-0.”

However Langer said the team which was dominated by England in 2018 is not the same team that will be flying out there on Sunday.

“As tough as it was at the time, two years on I’m glad we went through it,” he said.

On This Day File Photo
Australia were without Steve Smith (left) and David Warner for the 2018 tour as a result of the ball-tampering scandal (Simon Cooper/PA)

“It was a really tough tour, but my experience of life is you learn your best lessons when you’re going through the toughest times.

“You hang in there, you become more resilient, you become closer as a group, you find out about each other as a team and as individuals and become a better squad.

“We’ve got two world class players back in Steve Smith and David Warner, we’ve got some of our fast bowlers back. Quite a few of our best players weren’t playing (in 2018), which always has quite an impact. But we’ve come a long way.”