All is not well between the Australian players and head coach Justin Langer. There have been reports regarding a huge rift in the dressing room between the players and Langer, and Australian white-ball skipper Aaron Finch is not happy with the way things are being handled.
Langer has come under immense scrutiny after Australia were dismantled 1-4 in the five-match T20I series against Bangladesh. They suffered the same fate when they travelled to West Indies and have not lost their last five bilateral T20I series.
Until earlier this year, clips in ‘The Test’ remained the only evidence of Langer’s somewhat strained relationship with the players. But all hell broke loose in the aftermath of the India series. Players first leaked the Sandwich-gate (involving Marnus Labuschagne) to the media and then also willingly leaked a Text message from Langer that specifically asked them to not talk to the media.
More players started talking to journalists off-record and ‘The Grade Cricketer’ podcast revealed that some players described the dressing-room atmosphere as ‘toxic’ and ‘way worse than expected’. Which is precisely why recent happenings in Bangladesh - where Australia team manager Gavin Dovey and Langer were allegedly involved in a heated altercation with Cricket Australia's digital journalist over a video - raise serious suspicions that there might be an actual dressing room unrest.
"There's always tension when results don't go your way in all sports. Wins and losses are what count. I think anytime that doesn't happen, that all gets amplified. It's just one of those things. It's disappointing that things are coming to the front the way that they are, that's never ideal. It's just one of those things that keeps popping up, which is disappointing," Finch said on SEN radio.
Also read: The tale of Langer’s tumultuous tenure
"The camp we had on the Gold Coast, to go through our culture and values and things like that, especially from a playing group, was really important, and one that I think players got a lot out of. But when things are being leaked out from inside, that's not a great look."
Australia lost to West Indies and Bangladesh but they were without the likes of David Warner, Pat Cummins, Steven Smith, and Glenn Maxwell. Finch too didn't travel to Bangladesh. The 34-year-old is confident that Australia will put up a good show in the upcoming T20 World Cup considering all the aforementioned players will be back for the showpiece event in the United Arab Emirates.
"I've got no doubt that our best is as good as or better than anyone in the world. There's a lot of experience there. There's firepower, there's class. I think that our best team covers all bases. And that's what I'm really excited about," said Finch.
"I think with the way the side will most likely structure up, when you bring back Warner, Maxwell, Smith, we've played together a lot over the last eight years. I'm not too bothered about that. I think guys who are going to the IPL are going to have that opportunity to prepare in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I think the continuity of selection won't play as big a part purely because we've played a lot of cricket together."