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Langer urges Aus to be focused, tough

AFP
Nov 14, 2010 at 09:40am IST

Sydney: Former Test opening batsman Justin Langer urged Australia to be mentally tough and not be distracted heading into the Ashes battle with England this month.

Langer, Australia's batting coach after playing 105 Tests for his country, on Sunday said Australia had the batting experience and needed to concentrate on the job ahead and not be distracted by "rubbish talk".

Once-mighty Australian cricket is in a state of flux and in painful transition after the retirements of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Langer over the last three years.

Langer urges Aus to be focused, tough

Langer, who is renowned for his motivational team talks, said Ponting's team needed to be psychologically strong.

Langer has bristled at suggestions that Australia's batting lineup won't be able to bully the English bowling attack as previous teams did before.

"All this talk - and I've heard all sorts of rubbish spoken - is just talk," Langer told the Sun Herald.

"When it comes down to it, we have a very experienced side, especially a batting side, and it contains blokes who have done well at Test level before.

"They just need to concentrate on their jobs and not be distracted by all of this rubbish that's going on in the lead-up to the Tests."

Langer, who is renowned for his motivational team talks, said Ricky Ponting's team needed to be psychologically strong leading into the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane on November 25.

"The guys just have to switch on. They've had lots of success before and it's about mental toughness and eliminating all these distractions about what England's doing and what people think," he said.

"They have to get rid of that stuff and win every battle with England. It's a marathon of a series and it might well be survival of the fittest, and hopefully we're the fittest."

Langer said the pressure on his former Western Australian teammates, Michael Hussey and Marcus North was "part and parcel" of being a member of the Australian Test team.

"Those guys are tough enough, like the other 11 blokes, to concentrate on what's important, sticking to the process and being ready for every contest," he said.

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