Justin Langer turns down India head coach position after Rahul’s ‘1000 times more pressure, politics’ advice

Ever since the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) opened applications for the post of Team India coach, many names have popped up in the process. Reportedly, the BCCI approached prominent figures like Gautam Gambhir, Ricky Ponting, AB De Villiers, Stephen Fleming, and Justin Langer as potential candidates to replace Rahul Dravid. Dravid’s tenure as head coach ended with last year’s ODI World Cup, however, he was later given a short-term extension for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024. 

Now, Former Australian cricket team batter Justin Langer who was one of the names has now opted out of the race. Langer said that nature of the role is demanding and exhausting. Moreover, Langer also disclosed his conversation with KL Rahul who had told him how the ‘politics and pressure’ experienced by the head coach of Team India is thousand times more intense than that faced by any IPL coach. Langer is currently the head coach of the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) who finished at number 7 in the points table. 

While speaking to BBC Stumped podcast, Langer said, “It would be an amazing job, I have [put myself out of contention].”

He added, “I also know that it’s an all-encompassing role, and having done it for four years with the Australian team, honestly, it’s exhausting. And that’s the Australian job!”

“I was talking to KL Rahul and he said, ‘You know, if you think there’s pressure and politics in an IPL team, multiply that by a thousand, [that’s] coaching India. That was a good bit of advice, I guess.”

Earlier on May 18, Langer also left a hint that he might be coaching Team India. When he was asked if the Indian board had approached him for taking on the mantle, he had said, “It would almost be the biggest job in cricket — being the head coach of the Indian cricket team,” as quoted by news agency PTI. Further adding, he said, “One, because of the huge volume of cricket, the huge expectation. It would be a great challenge. It would be great fun and it would be a wonderful opportunity to win ICC titles.”

Langer cited immense pressure and workload that comes along being an India coach, while adding that it has not been too long since he held a similar role with Australia. “But with all these things, the timing has got to be right. I did four or so years with the Australian cricket team. It is all encompassing. It is exhausting,” said the 53-year-old. “Rahul Dravid will probably tell you the same thing and Ravi Shastri will probably tell you the same thing. The pressure on winning for the Indian team is massive,” he said. 

(With agency inputs)

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Published: 24 May 2024, 10:54 AM IST

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