Melbourne [Australia], Jan 18 (ANI): Australian men's cricket team head coach Justin Langer on Thursday heaped praises on cricketers Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh, the leading run-scorers for the hosts in the concluded ODI series against India, days after their dropping from the squad for two-Test series against Sri Lanka.
The omission came following their poor performances and Australia's first-ever home Test series loss to India.
In the three-match ODI series with India, Handscomb scored 73, 20, 58 runs respectively while Marsh ended his scorecard with 54, 131, and 39 runs in each of the matches.
"I really admire what they (Handscomb and Marsh) have done. To be dropped. The way they have both played is a great credit to their character. I really admire them, I really respect what they have done, and they will be better for it in the future," Langer said while addressing the media after Australia lost the series by 1-2 against India.
Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who claimed six wickets and his second five-wicket haul in Test, trampled Australian middle-order and bundled out the hosts for 230 runs within 49 overs in the third and final ODI at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on the same day. Langer, however, felt that there is some light at the end of the tunnel for his team and the hosts will take some great confidence from all three series. India clinched ODI and Test series by 2-1 each, while the T20I series was levelled by 1-1.
"I honestly believe we should take great confidence out of this series. India are a gun side and we got very, very close to them. We could have won tonight if we had taken our chances; we could have won the other night in Adelaide (second ODI). So we should take great confidence out of that," Langer said
"I honestly think there is some light at the end of the tunnel for this team, I really do. We will take some great confidence out of not just this series, but the Test series, believe it or not. There have been some real shining lights from this series. And hopefully, we can keep finding some more shining lights over the next three or four months," he added.
When asked about his team's preparation heading into the upcoming World Cup, the head coach said his batsmen have a clear game plan.
"We are really clear on how we want to play and we got really close this series. It came down to the last overs twice and we won the first one. We know what we are trying to do. We just need our guys to execute the plans. And we have done it pretty well in this series, I reckon," Langer concluded.
Australia will next meet India for two-match T20Is and five-match ODIs as part of their away series, starting February 24. (ANI)