Sri Lanka v Australia, 3rd Test, Colombo, 4th day

Langer - 'I don't know what I can do to change perceptions'

Charlie Austin

March 27, 2004

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Yesterday, it looked as though Justin Langer's disappointing tour of Sri Lanka was about to get worse, when he was reported to the match referee for a supposed code of conduct violation. But he was cleared, and today he celebrated with a crucial century to put Australia in a dominant position in the third Test.

On an eventful match
There has been a lot happening and though it was nice to get some runs personally, today was the perfect day for the team. Hopefully we are now set up to win our third Test of the series.

On the code of conduct hearing
Yesterday was a silly little mistake, so I was really glad that common sense prevailed. It did affect me in yesterday's middle session. When I found out at lunch [that I had been reported] I was disappointed, but at the end of the day you can't let those things worry you and I did put it out of my mind.

On coping with an attack of cramp
I wasn't really sure what the rules were concerning cramping - whether I could have gone off or not. It all happened at lunchtime after an ice-bath; first my calf went and then my hips.

When we went out to bat I warned Kato [Simon Katich] to be careful with the running because I was worried about cramping up, having had a history of it before. Both my legs went, my calves, my hamstrings, and then my quads. I kept thinking about Dean Jones and what Allan Border said to him in Madras. I knew I was playing for Australia and it never entered my mind to come off.

On Sri Lanka
I haven't had a lot of success in Sri Lanka - it is a difficult place to play. It's an interesting place because in the top order you have got to get through the new ball. It hasn't really been the spinners that have affected me in this tour. I just haven't been able to get a start. I think you look at all the results over this series, if you get in, then it is a great place to bat, but there have been a lot of scores in the 10s and 20s and that is what has happened to me.

On his reputation as a battler
Sometimes it is frustrating. I don't know what I have got to do. I don't know what I can do to change perceptions, all I can do is keep making runs and be proud of my career when it finishes

On Sri Lanka's chances
I think it will be a very hard run-chase because the wicket is definitely spinning. But the biggest concern is the heat because what we saw this morning was that the guys had plenty of energy early on but the heat saps them and suddenly they are not putting as many revs on the ball. The first hour tomorrow will be crucial. But also wickets can fall just like that, so we will have to hang in there.

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Charlie Austin Sri Lanka editor When Charlie Austin left for Sri Lanka after graduating from Sussex University, he was a planning a winter's cricket in the tropics and a six-month stint with an environmental NGO. His mother's worst fears were soon realised when it became clear that he had fallen in love with the island. Six months have now become eight years and Colombo has become his home. He joined Cricinfo in February 2000 and now heads operations in Sri Lanka, responsible for both sales and editorial. He is also the director of a UK-based travel company called Red Dot Tours, and is currently ghosting Muttiah Muralitharan's autobiography.
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