South Africa

Aussie coach Justin Langer bemoans ‘slack’ over rate that cost them WTC final spot

Australia coach Justin Langer said on Tuesday his team’s “slack” attention to detail in bowling required overs in the India series cost them a place in the World Test Championship (WTC) final.

Australia were docked four WTC points for being two overs behind the rate during the second Test in Melbourne. Australia lost the series 2-1 but would have qualified for the final at Southampton ahead of New Zealand had they not been penalised for slow over rates.

Langer said the team were unaware they lagged the rate until after the game.

“Now, that’s really slack on our behalf,” Langer told Australian radio station SEN. “I remember we were in the team room afterwards and I spoke to Painey [captain Tim Paine] and Dene Hills, our analyst, about it. I was a bit grumpy about it and I thought, ‘Imagine if this cost us the World Test Championship’.

“And I mentioned it to the players afterwards that two overs down could cost us the World Test Championship. It was relevant at the time and it certainly became incredibly significant over the weekend.”

Australia’s last hope of qualifying for the WTC final was snuffed out by India’s defeat of England in the fourth Test at the weekend.

India will play New Zealand in the June 18-22 final. Australia’s international season finished with defeat to New Zealand in a T20 series-decider in Wellington on Sunday.

Some of Australia’s top players will next head to the Indian Premier League, which will double as a rehearsal for the T20 World Cup in the subcontinent later in the year.

Fast bowlers Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith, who impressed in New Zealand, will be among them and hope to boost their claims for a spot in Australia’s squad for the global tournament.

“There’s no better showcase for some of our players,” said Langer, who is also a selector. “We’ll watch that really closely and see who performs well.”


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