Justin Langer is the man to lead England – he can bring toughness to ‘cosy’ set-up

English cricket needs a reality check. It is not about being cosy and nice to each other. To win you sometimes need to be on edge. In white ball cricket it is different. You have to be flamboyant, fearless and carefree. But in Test cricket it is about discipline and delivering over long periods of time. The only way you can do that is by doing the basics for hour after hour. That stems from training and a strong work ethic around the team. 

You also have to get rid of excuses such as blaming bubbles and schedules. Langer would clear away excuses. He would command instant respect. He has won everything in his life as a player and now he is a vastly experienced coach. He has had ups and downs. You need to have those disappointments to be successful  and being told over the last 12 months that he was too intense and needed to delegate has been good for him.

Looks to me like he has learned from that. But at first England might need the old Langer for a while, one who is in total charge and a disciplinarian.

England will deny there was a drinking culture in Australia and say they were not too soft but I don’t care about that because clearly something was wrong. 

They need a three-year plan to produce good Test cricket over a long period of time home and away, not just winning at home.

There will not be any easy training sessions, or days in the field with Langer because he will make sure the players are on it. You are looking at one of toughest cricketers to have played the game and he will expect that from his players as well.

Someone like Langer would not accept a bowler walking out to bat and running to square leg to be bowled first ball like Ollie Robinson was when he was the last wicket to fall in Hobart. That last dismissal summed up the whole tour. 

Splitting the roles is a good idea but Langer can do both jobs and at the same time encourage younger English coaches like Paul Collingwood and Richard Dawson to take control of selected white ball series. It helps with succession planning.

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