New Aussie coach Langer rates India tour as ‘ultimate’ challenge

Melbourne: Minutes after being appointed Australia coach across all formats, former Test opener Justin Langer said his team’s greatest challenge awaits in India three years from now.

Langer was on Wednesday unveiled as the head coach on a four-year contract, that will see him at the helm in two Ashes Series, a World Cup and World T20 tournament.

But the 47-year-old Langer cited a Test series win on Indian soil as the pinnacle and one that is required if the outfit he now oversees wants to lay claim to ‘greatness’.

“We’ve got a World Cup, a T20 World Cup, a couple of Ashes (in 2019 and 2021-22) — I get nervous when I start thinking about it. There are some big tournaments coming up,” Langer told a media conference here.

“But ultimately, if I fast forward it, the Indian Test tour in about three or four years’ time, to me that’s the ultimate.

“We will judge ourselves on whether we’re a great cricket team if we beat India in India,” he added.

Recalling the “Mount Everest” moment of his playing career, Langer picked the 2004 tour of India when Australia thumped Sourav Ganguly’s team 2-1.

“I look back on my career, the Mount Everest moment was 2004 when we finally beat India in India,” he said.

“We’ve got to get better at playing overseas, we become a great team if we win overseas and at home so that will be something for us to aspire to,” Langer added.

Langer succeeded his former teammate Darren Lehmann, who stepped down from his post following the infamous ball-tampering saga that rocked Australian cricket, including the one-year bans on two of their best batsmen in former skipper Steve Smith and David Warner.

The former Test opener’s maiden assignment with the Kangaroos will be next month’s England tour that features five ODIs and a T20 international.