Langer defends Australia's Old Trafford celebrations

Tanya Simon
September 11, 2019

Australia coach Justin Langer has defended his players' boisterous celebrations after retaining the Ashes following claims they mocked England spin bowler Jack Leach.

At one stage, Australia's star batsman Steve Smith was seen wearing and rubbing a pair of glasses before shadow batting left-handed in the middle of a team huddle.

"Whether I'm a smokescreen, I'm not exactly sure".

"I've still got a real hunger and desire to play cricket. They looked like they were having fun".

As for Australia's chances of achieving an outright Ashes win - they are little different of course, although seeing a draw at The Oval (5/1) would also suffice for a 2-1 win, they are slightly stronger favourites for that achievement, at 8/15, compared to 6/4 for the 2-2 scoreline.

The Australians were reportedly frustrated at Leach wasting time, pausing play on a number of occasions to clean his specs.

Leach may have become a target due to his own post-match celebrations.

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.

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"After we won the Ashes in Perth in 2013-14, I managed to take a catch. I would have loved to have gone out on a high but it's professional sport".

"I'm just about getting over the disappointment. looking ahead to what I can do in the future", England's top test wicket-taker with 575 victims told Sky Sports.

"I've never spent more than four or five years somewhere, whether you're doing well or not".

"That's OK, that's life".

"Chris Rogers is a great mate of the squad and that's what it was about". People can make of it what they like. We can't do anything of what people make of it. I think the Australian team have bowled pretty well to him, so we'll see how things go further down the line. There's been great spirit throughout. "People can make of it as they like but that's the truth".

Steve Smith (R) celebrates in glasses after Australia retained the Ashes at Old Trafford.

'England are losing an Ashes series and Leach has only taken eight wickets at 30 in three Test matches.

Anderson is targeting a comeback in November during the two-match test series in New Zealand, but said he was prepared to wait until the four-test tour of South Africa in December and January.

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