Aaron Finch praised the coach for tackling the issues “head on”
Those heading to the West Indies were joined by others from outside the white-ball group, including Test captain Tim Paine, while New South Wales-based players were involved remotely due to the lockdown in Sydney.
“We are all behind him 100%, the way he’s coached Australia in the last couple of years has been fantastic, think we’ve had some really good success. No doubt it was quite confronting for him at the time but he took it head on and it was great. Very positive from our point of view.”
The intense nature of how Langer goes about his work was understood to be one of key issues raised in the reviews although there was an understanding of the trying circumstances created by bubble life.
Graeme Hick departed as batting coach amid the cost-cutting created by the pandemic last year, but Michael Di Venuto has joined the set-up for the West Indies and Bangladesh tours as an assistant coach alongside Andrew McDonald who took charge of the T20 tour of New Zealand earlier this year when Langer had been due to head to South Africa.
“Think there was a combination of a few things,” Finch said on changes to approach. “On the back of a lot of bubbles as well think he could have used his assistants a little better and delegated in that regard but there was nothing groundbreaking. It was stuff every player and every coach would reflect on themselves. The way he confronted that and the way it was received by the players was outstanding.”
Finch and Langer do not have a full-strength squad available to them for the series against West Indies and Bangladesh (the latter yet to have the biosecure plans confirmed) following the withdrawal players due to bubble fatigue.
While Finch has admitted that it isn’t an ideal situation leading into the T20 World Cup in four months he knows Australia are not alone with such a challenge and it is likely to remain that way for some time.
“We are going to have to manage players a little differently over the coming 12-24 months, however long the way cricket is,” he said. “So while it’s not the perfect preparation we are not alone in that and it will give an opportunity to continue to develop our depth and find some more solutions.”
A further challenge for Australia is that there is the mandatory two weeks quarantine whenever they return to the country. To highlight the logistical jigsaw puzzle, there are only 13 days between the T20 World Cup final on November 14 and the scheduled opening day of the one-off Test against Afghanistan in Hobart on November 27.
It may require Cricket Australia to gain further exemptions from the government for players from both sides to take part inside their mandatory quarantine period. However, Finch made it very clear that no first-choice T20 players would be left out of Australia’s squad.
“The T20 World Cup is an international event, the one piece of [limited-overs] silverware that was eluded us. They’ll be no management for Test cricket, I can tell you that much.”
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo