Australia's new coach McDonald eyes Ashes reunion with Langer

Australia’s new coach Andrew McDonald eyes Ashes reunion with Justin Langer – the man he’s replaced – with former boss high on Sir Andrew Strauss’s wishlist for England

  • Andrew McDonald was unveiled as the new coach of Australia on Tuesday
  • And he is already keen to compete against former Australia boss Justin Langer
  • Langer has emerged as a potential candidate for the England job in recent weeks
  • McDonald, who was previously his No 2, says it would be ‘great’ to lock horns

Andrew McDonald became Australia coach on Wednesday and immediately set his sights on an Ashes reunion against the man he replaced.

The former Leicestershire coach wants to lock horns with Justin Langer, who was effectively forced out by Australia’s players because of his disciplinary methods and is now high on Sir Andrew Strauss’s wanted list to switch sides to England.

‘I think it would be great,’ said McDonald of the prospect of coming up against Langer in an England tracksuit. ‘If he were to coach England that would be an appointment that would create huge interest.

‘Justin has plenty left to give the game and I look forward to seeing where he ends up. I have huge respect for what he has achieved.’

New Australia coach Andrew McDonald is keen for an Ashes reunion with Justin Langer

McDonald, 40, was the overwhelming favourite for the Australia job after acting as Langer’s assistant since 2019 and leading them to a famous 1-0 Test series victory in Pakistan as interim last month.

He has been appointed to spearhead Australia in all formats, seemingly ending the chances of former England coach Trevor Bayliss taking on the one international job that would still interest him as his native country’s white or red ball coach.

But whether McDonald will get his wish of taking on Langer when England next do Ashes battle with Australia next year remains to be seen.

The former Australia opener remains a long shot to coach England even though Sportsmail revealed on Sunday he was ‘softening’ to the idea of embracing the old enemy.

Ex-Leicestershire coach McDonald was confirmed as Australia’s new boss on Wednesday

And Langer, the man he replaced, is now being eyed for the England job by Andrew Strauss

There is no denying Langer’s pedigree as a recent Ashes and Twenty20 World Cup winning coach and he also fits the bill as someone who could give England’s Test team the shake-up it needs after one of the worst runs in their history.

But a patriotic Australian synonymous with the Baggy Green would take some persuading to throw in his lot 12-months a year with England, particularly as it is believed he would want overall control rather than just being in charge of the Test side.

Strauss’s immediate priority is to find someone to replace him as England’s full-time managing director and he is believed to have been disappointed by the lack of suitable applicants willing to succeed him and Ashley Giles in running England cricket.

 Langer was forced out by Australia players in the end because of his disciplinary methods

Rob Key, as Sportsmail revealed last month, is a credible candidate who responded positively to Strauss’s invitation to apply for the job and is believed to have interviewed well on his return from broadcasting duties in Pakistan last week.

But Durham director of cricket Marcus North now appears out of the running and Strauss’s options are limited, with those who would be perfect for the job in Nasser Hussain and Mike Atherton too well ensconced in the media to be tempted and former England coach Andy Flower preferring to concentrate, for now, on franchise cricket.

Once Strauss has his man, probably towards the end of this month, that person will then turn their attentions to finding either a new head coach for both white and red ball cricket or an overall supremo with assistants responsible for the respective formats.

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