Head coach Justin Langer has urged his batsmen to use their feet in Test matches following his side’s 373-run defeat against Pakistan, to lose the two-Test series 1-0.Australian batting folded for 145 and 164 in the second Test in Abu Dhabi with none of the batsmen reaching half-centuries against some accurate seam bowling by Pakistan’s Mohammad Abbas, who finished with ten wickets in the match.
In contrast, Australia put up a great fight in the first Test to avert defeat in Dubai, with Usman Khawaja knocking a match-saving 141 and 85, Aaron Finch scoring 62 and 49, Travis Head 72 and skipper Tim Paine 61 not out.
Langer, himself a batsman of great repute, said feet movement is important.
“You talk about the great Australian players they moved their feet like boxers, every one of them,” said Langer, who scored 7696 runs in 105 Tests during an illustrious career. “They had footwork patterns and then from there you have the skill of run-scoring ability. And it’s a really important thing.
“Even in T20 cricket or one-day and most certainly first-class and Test cricket when the ball starts moving around, if you don’t’ move your feet then you’re going to come unstuck.”
Langer termed this series loss as disappointing after the first Test fightback.
“I think really, a huge disappointment,” said Langer. “I thought our preparation was brilliant. We came into the first Test really encouraged, really upbeat. We knew we were evenly matched with Pakistan in terms of ages and games played.”
Langer said he couldn’t sleep after his team let Pakistan off on day one of the second Test, from a precarious 57-5 to 282 all out.
“I didn’t sleep very well that first night,” said Langer. “We had them 5-57, and that night, Pakistan ended up with 282 and I know how hard Test cricket is.
“When you have people on the ropes you have to capitalise. Particularly a team like this and particularly they had Mohamad Abbas who bowled beautifully and we knew Yasir Shah,” said Langer of Pakistan’s bowlers.
Langer admitted key batsman Shaun Marsh was a big flop in the series, managing just 14 runs in four innings.
“Shaun has obviously had a poor series and he knows that. You can see it in his face he knows he’s had a poor series,” said Langer. “Whether you’re making them in T20 cricket or one day cricket or Sheffield Shield cricket or Test cricket. The only currency of value are runs. That’s just the truth of it.”
Both Australia and Pakistan will now play a three-match Twenty20 International series, starting October 24.
First Published: October 21, 2018, 9:31 AM IST