No need to split top cricket job: McDonald

Scott Bailey
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CRICKET AUSTRALIA PAKISTAN

Andrew McDonald will coach Australia for the first time in this week's three-match ODI series

Splitting Justin Langer's job into two shouldn't be on the agenda according to Andrew McDonald, who believes his interim appointment for India shows it won't happen.

Regular assistant McDonald will coach Australia for the first time in this week's three-match ODI series, while Justin Langer takes a break after 18 months on the road.

The move comes following previous talk of whether the top job could eventually be split, with one coach in charge of white-ball cricket and another for Tests.

England toyed with the idea in 2012 with Ashley Giles in charge of limited-overs cricket, before abandoning the move two years later.

Langer's predecessor Darren Lehmann claimed in 2017 administrators would eventually have "no choice", having rested for several series himself.

Langer even got his first chance to coach Australia in 2016 while filling in for Lehmann during a limited-over series in the Caribbean.

At this stage Langer has given every indication he is keen to continue in all three roles.

However, McDonald would be one of the logical choices if Cricket Australia ever did make the move.

He has had success in limited-overs cricket before and is a head coach in both the Indian Premier League and England's new Hundred tournament.

But the former Victorian allrounder said he didn't believe such a move was required.

"I don't think it's being discussed," McDonald told AAP.

"I think if you rotate and get the right time off and away there is no reason why coaches can't do all three formats.

"That's probably why I am the interim coach at the moment because they are looking to have just one coach. That reflects that it's probably not on the horizon.

"This isn't something that is new. I don't think it's a directional change in what they are doing. I think it's a time where JL needs a break."

McDonald's rise comes just two months after he joined the team as an assistant.

But there is no questioning his credentials ahead of Tuesday's series opener in Mumbai.

Last season he became the first coach to claim the triple crown of the Sheffield Shield, 50-over competition and Big Bash trophies with Victoria and the Melbourne Renegades.

He will also be reunited with close confidant in Aaron Finch as captain in India, just as he has had him as captain at the Renegades since he took on the role there in 2016.

"That's a real positive," McDonald said.

"I have a real captain I've worked with before. It's my first time around the white-ball team.

"This is the first time I have been involved in a white-ball tour is something I'm sure will be a benefit.

"I'm pretty used to most the players having coached against them and worked them with the red-ball space, so there is a familiarity there.

"For me it's just a continuation of what the team has done in the past 12 months with the World Cup and a successful tour of India."