Australian all-rounder Ashton Agar has thrown his weight behind under-fire coach Justin Langer and has claimed that the players will “back him in 100 percent” in the T20 World Cup and the months that will follow.
Langer, after taking over as head coach in 2018, did a remarkable job of rebuilding the Australian side, but the Western Australian, over the course of the past twelve months, has seen his position come under fire due to a breakdown in relationship with the dressing room, which even saw a public dispute with the players unfold.
Things have, however, after several rounds of talks and discussions, have cooled down over the past month or so, and Agar, who has played under Langer for over half-a-decade, asserted that he fully respects the 50-year-old and his methods.
"You can't help but respect that and we'll back him in 100 percent at this tournament and going forward," Agar told reporters from the UAE.
"He's got strong values and morals as a person and he sticks to them, unwaveringly. Knowing him over 10 years, not a lot has changed.
"I respect him a lot for that. We just have to have a bit of understanding around how horrible that experience [in recent months] would have been and respect someone coming out of that and still doing their best."
Langer’s position came under fire after Australia’s 2-1 series loss at home to India, but it hit an all-time-low after the Kangaroos were thrashed 4-1 by Bangladesh. There have been several reports and opinions targeting Langer, and Agar, giving his thoughts on the controversy, revealed that he’d have been shattered had he received the amount of criticism Langer did.
"All the criticism and everything that he's copped...to be dragged through the media while you're in quarantine, all of these different things," Agar said. "If that happened to you or I, we would be absolutely shattered. But speaking to him recently, he's doing really well."
Agar is one of three spinners in Australia’s T20 World Cup squad, and there is a good chance, owing to the nature of the surfaces, that the spin trio, that includes himself, Zampa and Swepson, could feature together at some stage.
The 27-year-old admitted that the prospect of Australia playing three spinners will entirely depend on the nature of the surfaces.
"It's all dependent on the surfaces that we get," Agar said.
"We've seen in the IPL now that the wickets are getting a little bit tired, we'll probably get some fresh wickets for the World Cup. But it wouldn't be really exciting."