Fresh from a sublime, unbeaten 80 in Australia’s six wicket one-day victory over England at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night, Steve Smith said the criticism of McDonald was unfair.
“I think it’s good that you can have a relationship with the coach and be able to speak honestly and openly about whatever you’re going through and selections and all that kind of stuff,” Smith said.
Asked about Waugh’s assertion that McDonald was too “matey” with the players and was not making hard decisions, Smith replied: “I don’t think that’s the case at all.”
Gilchrist, who was angry when Langer was forced out and made that clear on his Perth radio show at the time, has been more reasoned as Fox Sports’ leading cricket commentator.
Gilchrist defended Glenn Maxwell after he was heavily criticised for saying he wouldn’t dwell on Australia’s T20 World Cup failure.
“I think you move on pretty quickly,” Maxwell said before suffering a freak broken leg at a party last Sunday. “We’ve got a one-day series against England … and then we’ve got the Big Bash and then we’ve got four-day cricket.”
During Thursday’s telecast of the England-Australia one-day match, Gilchrist empathised with Maxwell, relating his own experiences of celebrating World Cup success and how cricket commitments moved on quickly.
“A comment like Glenn Maxwell made, people have come down heavy saying he was blasé and didn’t care because there was going to be a game next week,” Gilchrist said.
“I didn’t see it as that. I thought he was just stating the obvious. He may want to have articulated it better, but the reality is, here we are, four days after England have won a World Cup that is so coveted in world cricket, and the celebrations were cut short to get another game of cricket in.”
Matthew Hayden, Langer’s great mate and record-breaking opening partner, was clear about Australia’s failure to make the T20 World Cup finals during a press conference as Pakistan’s batting coach later in the tournament.
“Certainly from an Australian cricket point of view, there has to be planning heading towards world cups,” Hayden said. “Australia, unfortunately, just didn’t get it right.”
Fox Sports, which has held the rights to Australian cricket since 2018, is currently in negotiations with Cricket Australia about the next cycle, as is the free-to-air network Channel Seven, which has hired Langer to commentate this summer.
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