Melbourne: It’s still a good two years away but Australia coach Justin Langer says he has started building the battle-hardened and mature squad that would be able to challenge the formidable-at-home India in the 2022 Test series.
Langer, who took over as Australia coach in May 2018 soon after the ball-tampering episode in South Africa, has closely observed India dominating at home in the longest format with a goal in mind — to have a squad mature enough to combat the world no.1 Test team.
Kohli’s men registered a record-breaking 11th home series win on the trot when they defeated South Africa last month at home.
“It reminds me of how hard it is, that’s for sure,” Langer told ESPNcricinfo.
“It’s always been the case that it’s been hard to win in India. But that’s the expectation and we’ve got a couple of years now to find that maturity. I’m talking about, to be nice and battle hardened and as ready as possible for that series,” he said.
The 2022 series between the arch-rivals will be held between September and November and will include four Tests and three T20 Internationals as per the current Future Tours Program.
Langer had spoken about the ultimate goal of defeating India in India when he was appointed as Australia coach.
“If I fast forward it, the Indian tour against India, the Test tour in three or four years’ time, to me that’s the ultimate. We will judge ourselves as a great cricket team if we beat India in India,” he had said.
Since the 48-year-old has taken over, Australia has had an inconsistent run. They lost a home series to India before defeating Sri Lanka but just about managed to retain the Ashes after drawing the engagement in England earlier this year.
“I think it was an indication of the maturity of our team. I don’t mean maturity in age but coming together as a group, it takes great skill but it takes time, great mental toughness and endurance, to be able to back it up over and over again,” he said.
“When you’re going through it you’d love to see more of that consistency, but I look at it from a bigger picture point of view, it means we’ve got areas we can keep getting better in.”