Australia v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 1st day November 26, 2004

'I am the aggressor' - Justin Langer

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Justin Langer batted and battled through scorching heat to register his 20th Test century and seal his side's strong position. He spoke to the media after play and was quizzed about the heat, cramps and Matthew Hayden's decision not to accept Paul Wiseman's word when he was caught and bowled for 70. Wiseman, who took 2 for 56, was the most successful of the New Zealand attack.



Justin Langer: beating the heat and frustrating the bowlers © Getty Images
Justin Langer
On the heat
I feel pretty good and we're in a pretty good position. I started cramping - I tend to do that at Adelaide - after lunch and that probably affected my concentration. But that went away and I felt pretty good.

On the century
I don't think it's one of my best. Besides the first couple of overs and a couple with the second new ball, it was a gritty innings. But my balance was really good because footwork is one area of my game that I've had to improve over the last 12 to 18 months.

On it being his 20th hundred
Statistics are a really funny thing in cricket. When you are playing the game they mean a lot. I spoke to Tugga [Steve Waugh] a couple of months ago and he said that in retirement statistics mean nothing. While I'm playing and getting paid to score runs it means I hopefully get a game next week.

On the pitch
It's a very good wicket and is actually getting more carry than I've seen before. I'm not sure it's going to get up and down. We're going to have to give ourselves plenty of time to get 20 New Zealand wickets.

On Hayden's caught-and-bowled
It was a big banging double noise so he must have thought that he'd thumped it into the ground. He was probably hoping it was a bump ball because he was starting to hit it pretty well. I thought it was out.

On using the third umpire for a catch
I'm not saying it was obvious, but it looked to me that it was it probably out. The umpires did the right thing. If the technology is there they might as well use it.

On New Zealand's performance
They fought hard all day. Jacob Oram is an outstanding cricketer to bowl that economically on that track. Chris Martin runs in hard all day and hasn't had that much luck, but definitely has the spirit.

On their mood in the field
They were a bit quiet, but I'm not sure how they play. They had a tough week last week, it was 38 degrees or so, they lost the toss on a good wicket. They did an admirable job.

On his run-burst in the first two overs
I keep telling Haydos that he's the blocker and I am the aggressor. I can't believe he's playing one-day cricket and I'm not. [The rooms laughs loudly] He knows how I feel about this.

Paul Wiseman
On his performance
I started off a bit rusty but came back well in the second spell and had good rhythm.

On the heat compared to Bangladesh
It was hot and dry; Bangladesh was humid. You don't get wet out there, it's just dry, your mouth's dry. But we had a breeze today.

On Hayden's catch
I thought it was just a regulation caught-and-bowled. He wasn't sure whether he'd squeezed it into the ground. I was pretty sure, but it put doubt in my mind when he didn't go. He's entitled to stick around. It was pretty amicable, no dramas.

On the feeling in the side
It was good honest toil. We lost the toss on a pretty good batting wicket and the Aussies played very well. There weren't too many chances and the boys stuck at it. Jacob Oram bowled beautifully, Chris Martin ran in with good rhythm and Dan [Vettori] did a good job on a wicket that's not turning much yet. The guys are ok and certainly not down.

On the side's position
It would have been nice to get a couple more at the end and maybe we could have done better with the second new ball, but we had an opener who was 120 by that stage.

On the pitch spinning
I think it will start turning quite a bit by day three, especially if the heat stays. If we get to bowl a second time I look forward to it.