Mon, 05 Dec 2022

Melbourne [Australia], November 21 (ANI): On this day in 2022, former Australian opening batter Justin Langer was born.

The batter was one of the biggest pillars of a highly-successful Australian set-up in Test cricket. Known as a highly elegant driver and cutter of the ball, this batter played along with legends like Adam Gilchrist, Michael Clarke, Matthew Hayden, former skipper Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath. The team dominated world cricket and he won the prestigious Ashes series against England with these stars multiple times.

The left-hander also had a highly successful opening pair with Hayden in the longer format. They are the fourth-most successful pair of their time. In 122 innings, they scored 6,081 runs together at an average of 51.53. Their highest partnership was 255 runs. Together, they formed 14 century stands and 28 half-century stands.

He was one of the side's star performers in the 1998-99 Ashes triumph, which Australia won by 3-1. He finished as Australia's third-leading run scorer with 436 runs at an average of 48.44 and the best individual score. He scored one century and two half-century, with the best individual score of 179.

With this Ashes debut was established a pattern of consistent performances in the future series. In his 21 appearances in this series, he scored 1,658 runs at an average of 50.24, with five tons and five fifties. This included his career-best 250 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

He was also the highest run scorer, with 394 runs, in an Australian line-up that failed to fire as per their own massive standards in the 2005 Ashes, which England won by 2-1.

However, he could not play much ODI cricket, which was baffling for a player of his level of consistency. Between 1994-97, he played only eight ODIs, in which he scored 160 runs at an average of 32 with the best score of 36.

The 2006-07 Ashes proved to be his final series as an active player. Australia thrashed England by 5-0 at home. Langer went out in style, scoring 303 runs in nine innings across five matches at an average of 43.28, with one ton and fifty each.

Following the ball-tampering scandal that shook Australian cricket in 2018, Langer was announced as Australia's coach. He lead Aussies to their first-ever ICC T20 World Cup in 2021. (ANI)

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