Justin Langer: Australian coach says poor attention to detail cost his team dearly

Australian coach Justin Langer has lamented the “slack” attention to detail during the Test series loss to India that cost his team a spot in the inaugural World Test Championship final.

The Australians were docked four WTC points for being two overs behind the rate during the Boxing Day Test, which, following the 2-1 series loss to India, pushed New Zealand into second spot on the table.

Australia had targeted the final at Lord’s in June for more than two years and been on top of the table for most of that period.

Langer conceded that failing to bowl out India twice at the SCG and the Gabba, and not making enough runs in the final two Tests, also had an impact.

But he said missing the chance at the WTC final at Lord’s because of a slow over rate, something in his team’s control, was extremely disappointing.

“It wasn‘t until after the game that we realised our over rate was down. Now, that’s really slack on our behalf,” Langer said on Tuesday.

“And we had that in our control, that‘s an attitudinal thing.

“At the time, we probably thought it‘s not that big a deal – the players get fined – but that cost us the World Test Championship (Final) after what had been two really good years for Australian cricket where we were ranked No.1 again.”

“If you look at last two and half years, how we have played, we deserve to be in that final.”

Being in the #WTC21 final alongside New Zealand means a lot to India captain @imVkohlipic.twitter.com/JCym5frkeS

The ICC requires fielding teams to bowl a minimum of 15 overs an hour, and Langer’s team was found to have bowled an average of 13 during the MCG Test.

Teams are docked two points and fined 20 per cent of their match fee for every over they are found to be behind the rate, so the Australians were penalised four points and fined 40 per cent.

Langer revealed that when he became aware of the slow rate after the game at the MCG, which the Aussies lost, he hoped it wouldn’t come back to haunt them.

“I remember we were in the team room afterwards and I spoke to Painey (skipper Tim Paine) and Dene Hills, our analyst, about it. I was a bit grumpy about it and I thought, ‘Imagine if this cost us the World Test Championship’,” Langer told SEN.

“And I mentioned it to the players afterwards that two overs down could cost us the World Test Championship. And so, we have to get better at that and make sure it doesn‘t happen in Sydney and Brisbane.

“It was relevant at the time, and it certainly became incredibly significant over the weekend.“

India’s win in the final Test over England last week was the final nail in Australia’s WTC coffin. India will play the Kiwis at Lord’s.

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