'Clearly wasn't happy': New details in Justin Langer-Usman Khawaja saga

Chris Young
Sports Reporter
Amazon docu-series The Test exposed some of the tension between Australian coach Justin Langer and batsman Usman Khawaja - who hasn't regained Australian selection after being dropped for the fourth Ashes Test match. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The recently released Amazon Prime documentary series ‘The Test’ has become a goldmine of information for cricket-starved sports fans - and the seemingly terse relationship between Australian coach Justin Langer and veteran batsman Usman Khawaja is the latest topic of interest.

A couple of key moments between the paid caught the eye of veteran cricket writers and fans alike, with many suggesting Langer and Khawaja’s relationship broke down during the tour of England.

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Despite Langer’s long-held public appreciation of Khawaja, many have pointed to one moment in the series as the beginning of the end for Khawaja’s Test career.

One scene shows Khawaja offering Langer some criticism about the team’s training habits - with the coach seemingly less than impressed by the commentary.

Veteran cricket writer, The Australian’s Peter Lalor, told SEN radio that Langer was obviously irate about the message he’d received from his first-drop batsman.

“He clearly wasn’t happy to get that feedback,” Lalor said.

“Justin Langer comes in (later in the documentary) and says ‘I love Uzzie. He’s the spokesman for the group. He says what’s on his mind’.

“(But) You go, ‘I’m not sure you do JL, you certainly didn’t enjoy that feedback’.

“Usman didn’t progress that well after that.”

Khawaja struggled in the first few Ashes Tests, nursing a hamstring injury before being dropped for the final two matches of the series.

The 33-year-old has since found himself on the fringes of national selection, having subsequently missed the entire Australian summer.

Paine chuffed as documentary fires up Root

Tim Paine has lapped up the praise from Australians who've watched and enjoyed The Test, while admitting the popular documentary's ability to fire up rival captain Joe Root was an added bonus.

Paine's leadership skills are front and centre in the behind-the-scenes Amazon production that charts Australia's path back from the 2018 sandpaper scandal to Ashes retention.

The captain admits all the feedback has been positive and couldn't hide his delight when told it had stirred something in Root when he started watching it too.

"I hope Joe enjoyed it; I know a lot of people in Australia have certainly enjoyed it," he said.

"It's gone down really well and we're proud of how it came up.

"What we wanted to do was give fans a bit of insight, not so much international opposition captains but if it's given Joe extra motivation then that's fantastic.”