Former Test opener enjoying domestic cricket November 24, 2007

Langer 'emotional' after watching Jaques

Cricinfo staff

Justin Langer struggled as he watched Matthew Hayden bat with a new partner © Getty Images

Justin Langer has revealed watching Phil Jaques head out to bat against Sri Lanka with his former Test opening partner Matthew Hayden was painful. Langer quit in January after the Ashes and he revealed that seeing Jaques take his place was "quite emotional".

"It was the first time since I'd announced my retirement that I realised that that was it, particularly the moment I saw Haydos and Phil Jaques walk across the white line," Langer said during Western Australia's Pura Cup match against South Australia in Adelaide. "That was quite an emotional time for me, but life goes on and I'm sure the decision I made was the right one. But having done it for so long - people know how passionate I was about playing for Australia - that was an emotional first morning."

However, he took pleasure in seeing the heat on Jaques and Chris Rogers, who were vying for the opener's spot, and it was a relief for Langer not to be in the media spotlight for the first time in 10 years. "That was quite nice for me," he said. "It was interesting to see both of them struggling [in domestic cricket] and I'm sure it was because they were putting so much pressure on themselves. Having lived through that, I was watching with a smile rather than having to worry too much about it."

Jaques has reserved his place for now, with two centuries and a fifty in his three innings against Sri Lanka. He has impressed his predecessor, too. "His insatiable hunger for runs - that's the thing that strikes me most about him," he said. "He's shown it in Test cricket, but whether he plays club cricket or state cricket or county cricket, he makes so many runs. You see the great sportsmen - [Roger] Federer playing tennis - and Phil Jaques watches the ball so closely, and that's the sign of a very good player."

Langer, meanwhile, is happy to be enjoying domestic cricket away from the Test arena. He captained Somerset to promotion in the County Championship over the winter, and is happy in the Warriors' set-up. Tom Moody, Langer's new coach and old friend, who is godfather to his third daughter, has helped change the mood of the squad.

"We've been mates a long time and we've played together, so it's nice to be playing in this very professional environment again," he said. "It's been something Western Australian cricket has probably lacked for a long time, and it's just brilliant to be playing in this environment again."