He’s already been tipped to become Australia’s next cricket coach, but for now Justin Langer has only one thing on his mind – Sheffield Shield glory.
Western Australia cricket was in disarray when Langer took over in November of 2012, but the former Test opener has overseen a remarkable turnaround.
Back-to-back Twenty20 titles, a one-day crown, and an appearance in last summer’s Shield final were all masterminded by Langer.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann has been so impressed by Langer’s work that he’s already anointed his former teammate as his successor.
Langer is flattered to hear those comments, but he isn’t thinking about the bigger picture just yet.
“I know how fickle it is,” Langer said about coaching on Friday.
“I think four coaches have lost their job in the last week and a half.
“It’s nice to hear (those compliments) of course. But I’m more proud of what the boys are doing and what the WACA’s achieving.
“That drives me. I’m enjoying what I’m doing at the moment.”
WA sit second on the Shield table with five rounds remaining, and Langer knows his side have a big chance to add to their T20 and 50-over crowns.
But he fears the euphoric high of winning the T20 title last month could leave the player group feeling a tad flat entering the Shield clash with South Australia at the WACA Ground, starting Saturday.
“They’ve trained really well, but you can just sense they’ve been a little bit flat,” Langer said.
“I talked in the captain’s meeting this morning with the senior players – they’ve got to drive it; they’ve got to get up.
“And if they want it enough, then they’ll find the energy tomorrow for the first session and they’ll take it through.”
With James Faulkner in doubt for the World Cup due to injury, WA batsman Shaun Marsh is still a chance to make the showpiece event.
Langer said the 31-year-old was focused on doing well for WA instead of letting his mind wander to a possible World Cup call-up.
The Redbacks have been a team in turmoil in recent times.
Coach Darren Berry is on indefinite leave due to personal reasons, while Johan Botha was sacked as skipper this week in favour of Travis Head.
WA: Adam Voges (capt), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Tom Beaton, Ryan Duffield, Marcus Harris, Michael Hogan, Michael Klinger, Simon Mackin, Shaun Marsh, Nathan Rimmington, Sam Whiteman (12th man to be named)
SA: Travis Head (capt), Tom Cooper, Mark Cosgrove, Callum Ferguson, Trent Lawford, Tim Ludeman, Joe Mennie, Gary Putland, Kane Richardson, Alex Ross, Kelvin Smith, Adam Zampa (12th man to be named)