Champions League Twenty20: Playing Spin is Like Having Chillies, Says Justin Langer
Former Australian opener and coach of Perth Scorchers said it was extremely difficult for visiting batsmen to master the art of playing against high-quality spinners in Indian conditions.
Former Australian opener and Perth Scorchers coach Justin Langer singled out his side's inability to play spin as one of the biggest reasons for their first round exit from the Champions League Twenty20.
The Scorchers, who were making their third straight appearance in the CLT20, were clubbed in Group A alongwith IPL heavyweights Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings and lost both those games. Langer, a solid left-handed opening batsman played 105 Tests for Australia and scored 23 hundreds for his country. He was no alien to the mystery and guile of spinners from across the world but his young side were clearly baffled by the likes of Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. (Narine Has Long Career Ahead: Bayliss)
Langer said no matter how hard players prepared, it was going to be difficult in India and compared the art of playing spin to eating chillies. ('No Room for Complacency in KKR')
"No matter how much you try and prepare, it is very difficult. It's like when India come to Australia, we have bouncier and faster wickets, which gets harder for them to play. It's almost like Indians have chillies from a very early age, therefore if you eat chilly it doesn't really bother you. But if we eat chilly, it burns our mouth, which is the same while playing spin," Langer told CLT20.com.
"We are brought up on fast and bouncy wickets that swing around and not so much brought up on spinning wickets. So when we come up here, it's like eating chilly and it is hard to get used to it. I know in Australian cricket there is a focus on becoming better players of spin bowling, but it is something which is going to take a long time to develop."
Langer had of course tasted success on Indian shores. Back in 2004, on turning pitches against high-quality home-spinners, Australia had notched up a historic series win and the former opener said that the triumph was the greatest moment of his illustrious career, stressing how difficult it would have been to negotiate balls that spat and bounced and spun with close-in fielders around the bat.
"From an Australian point of view, the most difficult thing for Australians is to come and play in India. When we won the Test series here in 2004, it was like the Mount Everest of my career. That was the greatest moment of my career because you always recognize how hard it is to win in India. It is the same for our young group."
"When you come here and you are not used to playing spin, and then you come out against world class spinners like Sunil Narine and Mohammad Hafeez, you are always going to be tested. Hopefully, it will serve the young batting unit good in terms of experience," Langer said.