Australia v WI, 1st Test, 2022-23 – Pat Cummins

Test captain Pete Cummins has dismissed claims by former coach Justin Langer that he was harmed by leaks and says there are “no cowards” in the Australian team.

The first Test between Australia and the West Indies starting on Wednesday has been overshadowed by Langer’s recent interview. Back chat podcast, where he attacked Anonymous “cowards” who he said leaked against him and believed some players were not transparent about their opinions.

Addressing the issue publicly for the first time, which has escalated with the start of Australia’s Test summer at Langer’s home in Perth, Cummins strongly defended his dressing room.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, he said that there are no cowards in the Australian cricket team, never. “I would probably never divulge a private conversation. I think it’s frustrating sometimes the focus is on off-field issues but it hasn’t really affected our team.”

Perhaps in a sign of restraint, Langer has tried to clarify his comments somewhat, saying the players were “like my little brothers”.

“I think what he was trying to do was no ill will and he made it clear afterwards,” Cummins said in the backdrop of the ‘Justin Langer Stand’ at the Optus Stadium.

“I think he thought about it and explained it, so credit to him for that. But we’re really proud of the last 12 months in how we’ve come across, the way We played, the way we played. Organized ourselves. The players can definitely hold their heads high.”

Cummins said he was “looking forward” to seeing Langer, who will be part of host broadcaster Seven’s commentary team this summer, and was not expecting a cold reception from locals.

“They’ll be doing commentary here and there so that will be good,” Cummins said. “We love playing here at the stadium. My idol mentor, DK Lilly too, this is his home state.

“We didn’t feel like that at all,” he added when asked if the Australian team was out of favor in Western Australia. “I know there’s been some speculation but I think it masks a lot of good things that are going on and the support we’re getting.”

It was no surprise as Cummins announced the expected Australian line-up to face the West Indies, leaving out pacer Scott Boland and opener Marcus Harris.

As part of an unchanged batting order from Sri Lanka’s final mid-year Test, all-rounder Cameron Green will start for his hometown in Perth’s first Test since December 2019.

“To be honest, this is the most stable team I’ve ever played on,” Cummins said. “You could have picked a side probably 12 months ago, I think we’re in a good place.”

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