Manchester: Former captain Steve Waugh has re-joined the Australian team as mentor for the remaining two Tests of the Ashes series against England to pep up the confidence level of the visitors after the Headlingley debacle.
Australia were on the brink of an Ashes victory before throwing it away on the fourth day of the third Test at Leeds on August 25, failing to stop Ben Stokes (not out 135) who put on 76 runs for the last wicket with Jack Leach.
Steve Waugh arrived here Sunday night ahead of the fourth Test at Old Trafford starting Wednesday. He was part of the Australian camp for the first two Tests, but left before the third.
“We asked him (Steve Waugh) to stay for the third Test, but he had to go back (home) for a function. To come back after such a long time away from the game, his passion and enthusiasm for the game has been brilliant and it’s going to be great,” Australia head coach Justin Langer was quoted as saying by ‘cricket.com.au’.
“Guys like ‘Punter’ (Ricky Ponting) and Steve Waugh, not only have they got a great presence within the group but they’re great psychologists as well. They’ve been in the cauldron before, they’ve seen it before,” Langer added.
It should be stated here that Steve Waugh has held similar mentoring positions with other sporting teams, including Australia’s Olympic team for the 2008 Games in Beijing and 2012 in London.
Meanwhile Justin Langer confessed Monday that he felt ‘physically sick’ in the aftermath of the heartbreaking defeat to arch rivals England in the third Ashes Test at Headingley.
“As challenging as this week’s been, it’s been awesome,” Langer said. “I’ve loved this last week of coaching, because you can either sit back and feel sorry for yourself and put it under the carpet, or you can work out ways to make sure we’re up for the first ball (on Wednesday) and then the next Test match,” the former Aussie opening batsman added.
The most frustrating bit for Australia was the 10th-wicket partnership of 76 runs between Stokes and Jack Leach.
“That’s the toughest part of it, we were that close. I actually felt physically sick after it, then I went back to my room and I wasn’t sure whether to cry my eyes out or smash my hotel room,” Langer informed.