LONDON: Australia coach Justin Langer has come forward to defend his players’ boisterous celebrations after retaining the Ashes following claims they mocked England spin bowler Jack Leach.
Australia clinched a dramatic fourth Test win over England in the last hour of Sunday’s final session at Old Trafford. The win gave Australia a 2-1 lead with just one match to play and they marked the occasion with a raucous on-field party.
Australia’s star batsman Steve Smith, at one stage, was seen wearing and rubbing a pair of glasses before shadow batting left-handed in the middle of a team huddle.
Some fans and pundits came to the conclusion that Smith was unkindly parodying the glasses-wearing Leach.
Leach had helped England teammate Ben Stokes snatch a remarkable win in the third Test with a 76-run unbroken partnership, during which the spinner scored just one run.
But Langer is adamant Smith was mimicking Chris Rogers, who last played for Australia in 2015 and, like Leach, wears glasses when he bats.
“I was there, I know the truth, they were talking about Chris Rogers who was here four years ago,” Langer told reporters on Tuesday.
People can make of it what they like. We can’t do anything of what people make of it. He added: “Experience tells me when you are doing well people try and pick holes in you.”
“When you have a good day you have to celebrate it as long as you move on and get ready for the next one,”” he said.
They know there is still unfinished business and we are looking forward to this last Test match.