Pat Cummins failed his first big test as Australian captain by being coy over the future of Justin Langer, former fast bowler Mitchell Johnson said on Sunday, as Langer's resignation as national men's coach continued to roil Australian cricket.
Langer quit on Saturday after nearly four years as Australian coach, rather than accept a six-month contract extension.
The reaction has exposed a split between current players, who have been silent on his departure, and several former teammates who have fiercely defended Langer.
"Pat Cummins has been lauded as some type of cricketing saint since his elevation to the top job this summer," Johnson wrote in a column in the West Australian newspaper.
"Cummins might have delivered with the ball during the Ashes series, but he has failed his first big test as captain pretty miserably.
"He had plenty of public opportunities to endorse an extension for Langer. So when he let it through to the keeper every time, it became pretty obvious he didn't want it to happen."
Langer, capped 105 times for Australia between 1993 and 2007, took over as national coach in 2018 in the wake of ball-tampering scandal.
His Saturday departure came just weeks after he presided over Australia's 4-0 Ashes series win over England. Australia also won last year's Twenty20 World Cup for the first time under Langer, but there have been reports of player discontent over his coaching style.
Pace bowler Cummins, who took over as captain from Tim Paine in November, declined during a media event on Thursday to fully endorse Langer's continuing as coach.
Johnson wrote that if Cummins wanted Langer out, the captain should have been more forthcoming about it.
"His recent interviews have been gutless by not respecting his coach when he could have been upfront from the start," Johnson wrote.
Cummins has not publicly responded to the criticism.
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