Without David Warner and Steve Smith, Australia’s batting unit has struggled over the last few months. They are staring at a third straight series defeat in Tests as they take on India in Sydney, trailing 1-2.
Coach Justin Langer, despite admitting the need for improvement in the team’s batting, said that Australia don’t have enough resources to replace players in the existing line-up.
“Most of our batters are knocking on the door are averaging in the 30s (in the Sheffield Shield),” Langer was quoted by news.com.au.
“Try being a selector at the moment,” Langer said. “We’ve got to be careful not to reward poor performances but … it’s not as if the guys are absolutely banging the door down.”
“The art of batting, we’ve got some work to do. Whether it’s the system … whether it’s something we’ve got to change in our psyche, I’m not sure. It’s something everyone is looking at.”
Skipper Tim Paine conceded, after the defeat in Melbourne, that Australia badly needed the banned Smith and Warner back in the side.
But such wishful thinking apart, Australia have added Marnus Labuschagne to their squad. He played two Tests against Pakistan this October and has 2,521 first-class runs in 81 innings at an average of 33.17. He’s expected to replace Mitchell Marsh in the fourth Test.
Despite Aaron Finch’s poor run in the series so far (with scores of 0, 11, 50, 25, 8 and 3), Langer has backed him.
“He’s working harder probably than he’s ever worked … he’ll be better for this period,” Langer said.
“He’s the only guy playing all three forms of the game (for Australia) … he’s got to somehow recharge his batteries over and over and over again. It’s a great challenge.”
“Coaching is about man management and looking after people, caring for people, and that was just another distraction last week,” Langer said.