Australia coach Justin Langer has revealed that the first six months of his job were so stressful that his wife Sue was left in tears during the time Virat Kohli’s India were on course for their maiden Test and ODI series triumphs.
Speaking to ‘ESPNCricinfo’ ahead of the Ashes starting August 1, Langer said taking charge of the team, which was reeling in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal last year, took its toll on him especially during the drawn fourth Test against India here.
“I’ve known my wife since I was 14 years old, so she knows everything about me, and they were leaving. They were leaving that day, and we were at breakfast at 8 o’clock and my wife started crying at the breakfast table in front of my daughters,” Langer recalled.
“I said what’s going on, I had never seen my wife cry – we know everything about each other. She said ‘I just don’t like what’s happening here, I don’t like what it’s doing to you, I don’t like what it’s doing to us, people are so mean, what people are saying about you and the team and Australian cricket’. That was a real eye-opener for me, that it was affecting my family,” he said.
India won both the Test and ODI series by a 2-1 margin. A tense exchange with a journalist on all-rounder Glenn Maxwell’s Test future was another instance which made Langer feel that perhaps the pressure of the job was a bit too much.
“I got, I’d say two out of 10 grumpy with the journalist in Sydney, and I was also amazed at the backlash of that as well,” Langer said.”I apologised straight after the event, that’s me, but I realised then and the way people said ‘he’s getting angry, he’s losing it’. I didn’t feel that but my wife was getting upset, that was a real moment.
“I’ve said privately and publicly a few times if I look back to my career, 1993 when I got dropped for the first time, really tough time, but pivotal in my life.”I got dropped in 2001, a really, really tough time, but pivotal in my life.
I look to January 2019 in Sydney, really tough time, but I’ve got no doubt it’ll be a massive part of my evolution as a coach,” he added.