Langer stays on as Australia's assistant coach
Justin Langer won't be one of the casualties of Australia's performance review - at least, not initially - after he was reappointed as the team's assistant coach for another year.
Langer joined the off-field staff in 2009 as batting coach and by keeping him on, the board has ensured a coaching setup with plenty of Test-match experience.
His reappointment came on the same day that Craig McDermott was named bowling coach, and between them, Langer and McDermott have represented Australia in 176 Tests. Cricket Australia's general manager of cricket, Michael Brown, said Langer had been a valuable presence around the squad since he joined the staff.
"Justin's record as a player and then over the last 18 months, as coach, leader and mentor within the Australia team coaching group, speaks for itself and we are all delighted he has agreed to continue his outstanding work with the Australia team," Brown said. However, despite Langer's "outstanding work", he faces a tough challenge to lift the output of Australia's batting order.
Simon Katich, Michael Hussey and Ricky Ponting are all the wrong side of 35, and squeezing all three of them into the Test line-up in future might not be in the long-term interests of Australia. Younger men such as Usman Khawaja, Phillip Hughes and Steven Smith will push for batting roles in the Test side, and will need to work closely with Langer in the Australian setup.
One of his biggest tasks is to turn around the form of the new captain, Michael Clarke, who in the past year has made 367 Test runs at a dismal average of 21.58. The initial signs for Clarke's leadership, during the one-day tour of Bangladesh, were positive, but if he struggles for runs during his first two Test tours as leader, in Sri Lanka and South Africa, he will be under immense pressure to justify his promotion.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to be an integral part of the resurgence of Australian cricket," Langer said. "I'm also thrilled at being able to take the next step in my development as a coach by being involved with such a committed and motivated group of people."
While Langer's reappointment was largely a formality, he wasn't the only person interested in the role. Jamie Siddons, who recently finished a stint as Bangladesh's coach and was formerly an assistant with Australia, indicated last month he would have jumped at the chance to return to the Australian setup.