Former Australia captain Michael Clarke thinks that current head coach Justin Langer will leave the role after winning the Ashes at home.
Under Langer’s coaching, Australia recently won its first Men’s T20 World Cup title in Dubai on Sunday. But Clarke feels that Langer, whose contract as Australia’s head coach runs till mid-2022, may not travel with the team for the tour of Pakistan in March and April next year.
“I reckon Australia is going to win The Ashes. So, the Aussies win the T20 World Cup and The Ashes and JL is going to resign. JL is going to say you know what, I have achieved what I come in to achieve and I’ve copped so much criticism. I have had so much stick put on me,” Clarke told Big Sports Breakfast show on Sky Sports Radio.
“He’s going to say I’ve done my time, come to do a job and get Australia back to No.1 in the world and I have done that and I’m out of here. I don’t even reckon he will go to that (tour of Pakistan). I reckon his last Test will be the last Test match of The Ashes series. Australia will win and they will take a new coach to Pakistan,” added Clarke, who captained Australia to the 2015 Cricket World Cup at home.
Langer has been the head coach of Australia post the Sandpaper saga in 2018. In this time, he got some success in Test cricket, including retaining The Ashes in England in 2019. At the same time, he received criticism for Australia losing to India at home in 2018/19 and 2020/21 Border-Gavaskar trophies.
But after Australia lost the T20I series to West Indies and Bangladesh, Langer came under criticism for his coaching style.
Clarke compared Langer receiving criticism to how former captain Ricky Ponting faced the same at the end of his career.
“Don’t get me wrong, I hope I’m wrong. I think Langer is the right guy to be coaching Australia right now, I think he’s done an absolutely brilliant job. But I just think with all the criticism… it’s a little bit like Ricky Ponting at the end of his career. I think Punter (Ponting) got to a stage where all the criticism finally caught up with him and he said, ‘You know what, I’ve done everything I can, my time is up, I’m out of here.”
Clarke believes former Australia pacer Jason Gillespie, currently the head coach of West End Redbacks in Australian domestic cricket, could become the next head coach if Langer leaves. At the same time, he wants Cricket Australia (CA) to shake up the coaching system.
“Probably Jason Gillespie. I think there’s an opportunity to look at two coaches — a short-form specialist and a long-form specialist. The only problem with that is, is there enough money in the pot for the two coaches to get paid and still do the work? Even though it’s Test cricket only, it’s a little bit like (coaching rugby league’s State of) Origin, it’s still a full-time job.”
“You got to go and watch games, talking to states and high-performance manager. It will still be a full-time job. As long as they can pay both coaches enough money, I actually think it might be the right time to transition into a short-form coach and a long-form coach.”