Australian head coach Justin Langer expressed great disappointment at losing out on playing the finals of the World test Championships due to slow over rates in the MCG test against India last December . As a result of the same , the team were docked 4 points and missed qualification as New Zealand became the beneficiary .
This might be the silliest thing I’ve ever said, but our manager Gavin Dovey … he’d been away, he’d gone home for Christmas to be with his family,” Langer said . “It wasn’t until after the game that we realised our over rate was down. Now, that’s really slack on our behalf.”I remember we were in the team room afterwards and I spoke to Painey (skipper Tim Paine) and Dene Hills, our analyst, about it. I was a bit grumpy about it and I thought ‘imagine if this cost us the World Test Championship’.”
As it turned out, had Australia not lost those four points for being two overs short, they would have finished 2nd in the league standings behind India. Instead New Zealand finished marginally ahead of Australia’s percentage points and became the first team to book their place in the final.
After losing the Indian series , Australia could have still earned a rematch in the final had they toured South Africa and returned a favourable result. But Cricket Australia decided to postpone that tour on grounds of Covid-19 safety, costing the team in the process.
Langer clearly felt that his team needed to take responsibility for what was in their control.
“It was relevant at the time and it certainly became incredibly significant over the weekend,” Langer said. “It’s disappointing for a couple of reasons – one we didn’t get to play in South Africa to have another crack at it after the India series and is it’s disappointing for me because this Test Championship goes over a couple of years, we were in the box seat for a lot of it.
“How often do you get docked points in Test cricket these days? Rarely. And we had that in our control, that’s an attitudinal thing. At the time, we probably thought it’s not that big a deal – the players get fined – but that cost us the World Test Championship (Final) after what had been two really good years for Australian cricket where we were ranked No.1 again. It’s very disappointing, but the lesson is the things that we can control, we have to control. And we can’t relax for a second in Test cricket.