T20 World Cup: Australians can be best in the world, says coach Langer

Australia head coach Justin Langer is buoyed by his team’s performance in the T20 World Cup after its loss to England.

The Australians won all their matches after their defeat to England in the Super 12s.   -  AP

Australia coach Justin Langer believes his team can re-establish itself as the best in the world as it prepares for a potential semifinal showdown with Pakistan at the Twenty20 World Cup this week.

Langer’s team booked its place in the last four on Saturday as David Warner’s unbeaten 89 steered the Australians to an eight-wicket win over West Indies that secured a second spot in Group 1 of the competition’s Super 12 phase.

“Not that long ago we were the best team in the world and some of that cricket shows we can be the best team in the world,” Langer told reporters.

“I think England are leading the way at the moment and we’ve got exciting prospects. We’re taking great lessons from this tournament on how we can continue to play T20 cricket now, for this tournament, and moving forward.”

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The Australians made a strong start in the competition before suffering a heavy eight-wicket defeat against England that left the Aaron Finch-captained side uncertain about its place in the knockout rounds. But comprehensive wins over Bangladesh and the West Indies ended those doubts and the Australians are likely to face Pakistan, which leads Group 2 with its final match against Scotland to be played on Sunday, in Thursday’s semifinals.

‘Outstanding cricket’

“It was brilliant again last night, I think our last few games have been outstanding cricket,” said Langer.

 

“The boys have really stepped up. It was quite a sobering experience against England. We knew we had to do some work and the way the boys responded to that has been brilliant, so it’s nice to be in the semifinal.

“You can’t win it unless you’re in the semifinal. It’s nice to be sitting here, knowing we’re in a semifinal on Thursday.”

Pakistan has been the dominant force in Group 1, winning all four of the matches to date, and Langer looks forward to the clash in Dubai. “They’ve got a good all-round team, like we have, and they’re well-led,” he said.

“Their captain, Babar Azam, is a superstar of the game. They’ve some good pace bowlers and they’ve a couple of good spinners, so they’re a well-balanced side like we are, so it should be a great game of cricket.”

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