Langer lays down batting challenge

Sportal January 27, 2013, 9:30 pm
Justin Langer

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Former Test opener Justin Langer has challenged the next generation of Australian cricketers to start 'smashing the door down' and demanding selection in Michael Clarke's side.

Langer, the head coach of Western Australia, says there is no obvious candidate to replace recently retired number six Mike Hussey in the Test line-up ahead of next month's tour of India.

"We need blokes really smashing the door down rather than being handed opportunities I think," Langer said after the Warriors drew with New South Wales following a rain-affected final day of the Sheffield Shield clash at Blacktown International Sportspark.

"I would say no, there's no one smashing the door down (at the moment).

"The reality is no-one's really been so good they can't be ignored and that's what we have to get in Australian cricket.

"Shane Watson will obviously come back in (at number four) but I'm not sure who they (the selectors) are going to go with."

But Langer, who served as Australia's batting coach before taking over the reins in the west, endorsed Blues young-gun Steve Smith as a genuine contender.

Smith scored a game-high 72 in the Blues' first innings on a treacherous wicket offering variable bounce and turn.

"I thought Steve Smith batted well, whether he comes back in for Test selection I'm not sure but I thought he played quite well and in Indian conditions he might get an opportunity," he said.

"I was impressed with how patient he was on a tough wicket and he seemed to have tightened up his game.

"I thought he played really well, showed good discipline and was the highest scorer on this wicket.

"I would have loved to see him bowl more to put his hand up as someone who can bowl some leggies as well but that wasn't the case."

Langer was less enthused when asked about Blues all-rounder Moises Henriques' prospects for the India tour.

"I guess in those conditions I would have thought they'd probably be looking for a spinning all-rounder rather than a medium pace all-rounder," he said.

"Maybe if they were going to South Africa or going to England that style of player might come into it, but who knows what the selectors are thinking?

"He's had a pretty good season and I thought he played pretty well. Had he have got 100 and really blitzed it like he did at the start of the season he'd probably really be putting his hand up."

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  1. Hidden Fortress11:37pm Monday 28th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Well there is a guy called Shawn Marsh, he's got a Test Century for Australia and 2 One Day Centuries, he's probably good to go.




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