Former England captain Michael Vaughan feels that only consolation for England right now is that their Ashes opponents Australia are in turmoil in both on and off-field matters.
“If there is a consolation for England at the moment, it is that their opponents this winter, Australia, are also in turmoil. Results have been poor across several formats, culminating in an embarrassing T20 series defeat to Bangladesh, and there seems to be an open mutiny against Justin Langer, the head coach,” wrote Vaughan on his Facebook post late on Saturday.
The 50-year-old Langer has been under immense scrutiny since it was alleged that he was involved in a heated confrontation with a Cricket Australia staffer over a Bangladesh victory video after the hosts won the T20I series 4-1. Earlier, Australia had lost 4-1 in a T20I series to West Indies.
The leaks around the coach’s management style and grumpy attitude become so intense that Cricket Australia released a statement supporting Langer, who’s preparing to lead Australia’s charge in the T20 World Cup followed by the Ashes later in the year.
Vaughan has offered his backing to the embattled Langer, saying that a breakdown of trust between players and coach ends in a predictable way.
“Langer is an abrasive presence, someone who will not shy away from delivering from harsh truths and often in pretty confrontational language. He was wired that way as a player and while he has attempted to smooth some of those edges as the coach, he will never change completely. That has clearly rubbed some players up the wrong way and Australia now find themselves in a situation where the bond of trust between the dressing room and the coaching staff seems to have broken down – and we all know how that generally ends,” further wrote Vaughan.
He added, “I suspect that some of the Aussie players, who are used to playing in franchise leagues around the world where the environment is a lot more relaxed and the consequences of failure are not so extreme, simply find Langer a bit too much.”
The 46-year-old observed that England coach Chris Silverwood doesn’t have a divided dressing room, unlike Langer. But Vaughan feels there is little time in England’s hands to make a turnaround in the ongoing Test series against India.
“Silverwood does not have a disgruntled dressing room on his hands and there is time for him to turn it around, but the bottom line is that he needs a serious uptick in terms of the performance at Headingley next week,” wrote Vaughan.
“If England go 2-0 down, it is hard to envisage them salvaging anything from the series so the batters need to show more technical nous, and some serious courage, in Leeds. My fear, however, is that only a piece of individual brilliance – probably from Root – will dig them out of this hole,” concluded Vaughan.
The third Test between England and India starts at Leeds on August 25. India lead the five-match series 1-0.