Ashes 2019: Australia not batting well enough, says Langer

By Sports Desk August 26, 2019

Australia coach Justin Langer has challenged his batsmen to stand up and be counted with the Ashes on the line.

Ben Stokes' stunning 135 not out snatched a scarcely believable one-wicket win for England at a raucous Headingley on Sunday to level the five-match series at 1-1.

Although the spectacle of Stokes bludgeoning a flagging Australian attack into the stands will live long in the memory, Langer's post-match attention was focused on a batting line up that failed to pass 250 twice in the match to leave the door ajar.

"One thing I do know is we're not batting well enough at the moment," Langer told reporters.

"I said at the start of the series that the team that bats best will win the Ashes. We're certainly not at our best with our batting at the moment.

"We've got some real questions to ask for the practice game and then the fourth Test match."

The practice game in question comes at Derbyshire this week, ahead of the fourth Test at Old Trafford that begins on September 4.

Steve Smith is set to return following his concussion-enforced absence in Leeds, while Marnus Labuschagne has impressed with three consecutive half-centuries after stepping in to replace Australia's former captain.

Elsewhere, there is little else to recommend, with number three Usman Khawaja failing to pass 50 in six attempts so far.

"There's a number of guys who will be looking to play well, not just Uzzy [Khawaja]," Langer said.

"Uzzy averages 40 in Test match cricket, he got a Test hundred seven innings ago. We know he's a very good player and he, like the rest of them, will be working hard to be ready for the fourth Test.

Another obvious area of improvement for Australia is their use of the Decision Review System, which was brought into sharp focus by Stokes' dramatic reprieve with the finish line in sight.

Replays showed Nathan Lyon's rejected lbw appeal would have hit middle and leg, although captain Tim Paine's rash decision to send a Pat Cummins shout against last man Jack Leach upstairs in the previous over meant Australia had no reviews left.

"We've been really poor at it this whole series, actually. We've talked a lot about getting better at our reviews," Langer said.

"There wasn't so many this game as there was at Lord's but we have control of that. We've got the way we go about it but sometimes you don't quite get it right.

"To be fair, the one off Pat Cummins at the end, we were getting pretty desperate at the end. That's just how it works out."

Langer added: "We're all feeling it. My gosh, you have no idea how much that hurts. But whether you're the captain, the coach or the senior players you've got to get back up."

Related items

  • Record-breaking Devine continues brilliance in Perth Record-breaking Devine continues brilliance in Perth

    Sophie Devine once again proved unstoppable as her sixth consecutive 50+ score steered New Zealand to victory in their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 opener against Sri Lanka.

    Chamari Atapattu (41) and Hasini Perera’s 60-run first wicket - Sri Lanka’s best opening partnership in T20Is - gave them a bright start but Hayley Jensen’s career-best bowling sent middle-order wickets tumbling at the WACA.

    It took time for New Zealand to get the 128-run chase going but captain Devine led by example, becoming the only player, male or female, to register more than five consecutive 50+ scores in the format, en route to the seven-wicket victory.

    The Sri Lanka openers put on an impressive 60 for the first wicket, with Devine, Leigh Kasperek and Lea Tahuhu all unable to find a Powerplay breakthrough.

    But up stepped teenager Amelia Kerr to cause problems on the fast track, the 19-year-old claiming the first wicket of the evening when she bowled Perera for 20 in the eighth over.

    Perera didn’t fall without her fine moments though, her scoop over wicket-keeper Rachel Priest giving the Sri Lankan contingent at the WACA plenty of reason to cheer.

    Atapattu’s 41, which included five fours and two sixes, built a solid base but the Sri Lanka captain was caught and bowled by the pacey Tahuhu.

    The White Ferns were able to put the brakes on thereafter, Jensen claiming two wickets in an over when Anushka Sanjeewani’s attempt over the top was caught by Bates running back before Devine caught Shashikala Siriwardena at short mid-wicket.

    Nilakshi de Silva was the next to fall as the middle-order crumbled, Kerr taking the catch at backward point for Devine’s first wicket before the spinner got a second breakthrough of her own.

    Harshitha Madavi kept fighting with an unbeaten 27 off 26 balls but Sri Lanka finished at 127 for seven as Jensen bagged her third.

    The White Ferns chase started slowly, openers Devine and Priest failing to take advantage of the Powerplay before the latter was run out by Madavi for six.

    Held at 25 for one after six overs, New Zealand were lagging a fair way behind Sri Lanka who were 51 without loss at the same stage, with Devine not at her fluent best.

    But the skipper ground it out in Perth, joining up with Bates for a 40-run second-wicket stand to steady the ship.

    Bates perished at the hands of Kavisha Dilhari but Maddy Green came in at four and guided the chase superbly, taking the pressure off her skipper with a career-best 29 off 20.

    With less than a run-a-ball required, Devine finally freed her arms – two sixes finishing off the chase with two overs to spare as the White Ferns tasted early success in Group A.

    Scores in brief

    New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets, WACA Ground, Perth

    Sri Lanka 127-7, 20 overs (Chamari Atapattu 41; Hayley Jensen 3-16, Amelia Kerr 2-21)
    New Zealand 131-3, 17.4 overs (Sophie Devine 75 not out, Maddy Green 29; Kavisha Dilhari 1-19)

  • West Indies women relieved after ‘tricky’ Thailand opener West Indies women relieved after ‘tricky’ Thailand opener

    Stafanie Taylor says West Indies are breathing a collective sigh of relief after surviving a scare against Thailand in their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup opener in Perth.

    Taylor’s side beat the tournament debutants by seven wickets in the first game to be held at the WACA Ground, but the win was not as flattering as the scorecard may suggest.

    West Indies looked to be on their way to a comfortable victory when restricting their opponents to 78 for nine from the full 20 overs.

    But Thailand’s impressive fielding display saw three quick wickets fall before the seventh over – including that of the dangerous Deandra Dottin – to set the nerves racing in the dugout.

    “It wasn’t great seeing our wickets fall so early, but I’m relieved I can smile now,” said captain Taylor after scoring 26 not out and taking 3-13 to lead the way for the West Indies women.

    “It’s tricky to play a team like Thailand who we have never played before. You have to spend a little bit of time at the crease getting used to their bowlers and we didn’t do that properly at the start of our innings.

    “They gave us some nervous moments. Their bowling attack can definitely cause some trouble at this year’s World Cup.

    “They have some really good bowlers and I think in a few years’ time, they will be giving teams challenges.”

    They may have underperformed at the crease but debutants Thailand produced a moment for the tournament highlight reel from the field with Naruemol Chaiwai producing a direct hit to run out Lee-Ann Kirby and claim her country’s first Women’s T20 World Cup wicket.

    Teenager Nannapat Khoncharoenkai top-scored with the bat with 33 from 48 balls but opener Nattaya Boochatam, who was caught early for two, knows her side can’t be relying on the middle-order in future outings.

    “We know we could have had a chance if we’d got more runs on the board,” said Boochatam.

    “We scored too few today, but we think our performance will make people take us more seriously.

    “It has given us motivation to do better and show we can compete on the global stage. It’s been a long time waiting and we are so excited to be out on the ground at a World Cup.”

  • Hasaranga steers Sri Lanka to dramatic win after Hope century Hasaranga steers Sri Lanka to dramatic win after Hope century

    Wanindu Hasaranga inspired Sri Lanka to a dramatic one-wicket win in the first ODI against West Indies with the highest successful chase at Colombo.

    The Windies had set the hosts 290 to win the opening match of the three-game series, Shai Hope leading the way with 115 as he scored his ninth ODI century.

    It was a target that looked like it could well be beyond Sri Lanka after their innings lost impetus following a 111-run first-wicket partnership between Avishka Fernando (50) and captain Dimuth Karunaratne (52).

    Thisara Perera played an in important role with a 22-ball 32, but when he was caught off the bowling of Alzarri Joseph the match was very much in the balance with Sri Lanka on 253-7.

    However, Hasaranga (42 off 39) produced a performance that belied his ODI average of 14.37 to get Sri Lanka over the finish line.

    Hasaranga's ability to find the rope – he struck a quartet of fours and one maximum – and inaccurate death bowling from the Windies left the scores level going into the final over.

    A direct-hit run out from Sunil Ambris to remove Lakshan Sandakan frayed the nerves a little, but the one run Sri Lanka needed came from a Keemo Paul no-ball off the next delivery.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.