Mitchell Johnson accused Pat Cummins of “not respecting” Justin Langer amid his dramatic departure as head coach, and the Australia captain has now responded to his comments
Australia Test captain Pat Cummins has responded to his former teammate Mitchell Johnson after he accused him of being “gutless” and “not respecting” Justin Langer.
Langer resigned as Australia’s head coach on Saturday, and hinted at the ack of support from senior players, support staff and the board as the reason for his departure.
And Cummins, who took over from Tim Paine as Test captain right before the Ashes, has since confirmed the players felt they needed “a new style of coaching.”
Langer’s departure came off the back of Australia’s first T20 World Cup win, a dominant 4-0 victory in the Ashes and an ascent to the top of the ICC Test rankings – and Johnson was scathing in his criticism of Cummins for failing to “endorse an extension for Langer”.
Stefan Gosatti – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images/Getty Images)
In a column for The West Australian Johnson wrote: “Cummins might have delivered with the ball during the Ashes series, but he has failed his first big test as captain pretty miserably.
“He had plenty of public opportunities to endorse an extension for Langer. So when he let it through to the keeper every time, it became pretty obvious he didn’t want it to happen.
“Cummins holds a lot of power and must have been central to what’s happened. He’s clearly had an agenda to get in a coach he wants. His recent interviews have been gutless by not respecting his coach when he could have been upfront from the start. “
But Cummins has now responded to Johnson, saying he ‘absolutely disagrees’ with his comments as he addressed Langer’s dramatic departure.
“He’s just standing up for his mate,” Cummins said. “I absolutely disagree with what he said. No, he hasn’t reached out. But that’s fine.
“I haven’t really had much [criticism] before so it’s actually been good to get it out of the way early in the captaincy.
“I knew when I took on the job it was going to come with added scrutiny and so the last week has been good to know that I’ll cop it, but I’m absolutely fine with it.
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“I know a lot of it’s come from the right place. We all want to do what’s best for Australian cricket.”
Langer, meanwhile, is reportedly in the frame to take over as England’s head coach, with Paul Collingwood currently in charge on an interim basis on the tour of the West Indies.
According to a report from the i England are prepared to break the bank for the Australian and could make Langer their highest-paid head coach ever.