Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has thrown his weight behind head coach Justin Langer after reports emerged of discontent within the team over his leadership.
Following a twin 1-4 T20 International (T20I) series loss against West Indies and Bangladesh, tensions flared within the team, which also included Langer having a verbal spat with a Cricket Australia (CA) writer over a video posted on social media. As a result, CA held a meeting with Langer, Test captain Tim Paine, limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch and vice-captain Pat Cummins to get to the root of the issues.
"I have got no doubt. I know there's been a lot of negativity the last few weeks, I really felt for Justin, I rang Justin a few times," Ponting told 2GB Radio.
"They just got back from that tough tour of the West Indies and then Bangladesh, and he was locked up in his hotel room in quarantine in Adelaide, and he was sort of copping it left, right and centre."
"I and a lot of his close friends have reached out to him," Ponting added.
However, the leadership group and CA have backed Langer as Australia prepare for the T20 World Cup in the UAE from next month. "It sounds like the captain and some of the senior players have had some pretty direct conversation with Justin about the things they think he needs to get better at. But he is also the sort of bloke who seeks that sort of advice anyway. He wants to find out how he can get better and what he can do better," observed Ponting.
Ponting, who served as the assistant coach under Langer during the 2019 World Cup said that it is harsh to judge the coach, considering Australia have not had a full-fledged line-up for the last few series.
"If you wind the clock back not even 12 months ago, the Australian team were the number one ranked Test team and T20 team in the world, we know all the talent is there.