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News Analysis

Who could be in the running to replace Justin Langer?

The Australia men's team will need a new head coach. Here are a few names that could be in the frame

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
05-Feb-2022
Andrew McDonald has taken temporary charge while Trevor Bayliss has been linked

Andrew McDonald has taken temporary charge while Trevor Bayliss has been linked  •  Getty Images

Andrew McDonald
The senior assistant coach has been elevated into interim charge of the team following Justin Langer's resignation. He was already due to coach the side in the T20Is against Sri Lanka and is now set to take the team to Pakistan. He will clearly be a frontrunner for the permanent role if he wants it. A number of players have spoken glowingly of him since he came into the national set-up, mostly recently Mitchell Starc on how McDonald helped him regain confidence in his run-up at the T20 World Cup. Before coming into the Australia dressing room he won a domestic treble in 2018-19 with the Sheffield Shield and One-Day Cup for Victoria and BBL with Melbourne Renegades, having also won the Shield in 2016-17. As will be the case for anyone in the frame, the time commitment for the job will be a major consideration. Taking it would also rule McDonald out of any IPL coaching roles.
Trevor Bayliss
When Bayliss finished his stint with England in 2019 he said the only international role he would consider in the future would be Australia. During the recent Ashes he was linked the job by the Guardian and it would be a surprise if he wasn't at least sounded out about taking over if, at 59, he feels he can commit to another heavy period of touring life. If the coaching role is split between red and white ball, Bayliss could be a serious contender for the latter. He recently returned to coaching in Australia with Sydney Thunder and may yet decide that continuing on the T20 circuit is his preferred option.
Jason Gillespie
The former fast bowler, who took 402 international wickets, has been close to the top job with Australia and England previously. He was an option when Darren Lehmann resigned amid the ball-tampering fallout but so far has remained at domestic level with Yorkshire, Adelaide Strikers and now South Australia where he is attempting to rebuild the state's fortunes after a barren run in the Sheffield Shield. The commitment to the full-time touring lifestyle may not be a fit for him.
Michael Di Venuto
He returned to the Australia coaching set-up last year when the group of assistants was bolstered having left his role with Surrey early in the pandemic. Alongside McDonald and fellow assistant Jeff Vaughan he took on a greater role after the near meltdown in the squad last August. He had previously been the team's batting coach between 2013 and 2016 with Steven Smith particularly glowing on his impact. "His knowledge and experiences in the game are second to none, he's got so much experience to share with us," Smith has previously said. "I think the advice he gives is outstanding as well." Probably more likely to retain a batting-specific role.
Gary Kirsten
If CA casts the net globally, it would not be a surprise to see Kirsten's name linked unless he has already been signed up by England. He has made no secret of his desire for that role having previously been overlooked two years ago when Chris Silverwood was appointed. He coached India between 2008 and 2011, which included winning the ODI World Cup, and South Africa between 2011 and 2013. However, Kirsten may see there is more to gain by trying to lift England's Test team off the canvas that maintain Australia's success. And whether CA would want to go the overseas route again remains to be seen having watched the Mickey Arthur era run into problems.
Ricky Ponting
Ponting is highly unlikely to be an option having previously said he would find it very difficult to commit to life the road. His IPL duties and lucrative commentary roles are a much better lifestyle fit and would also make him very expensive. However, maybe it's wise to never say never. He has previously held consultancy roles, including during the 2019 World Cup, and before ball-tampering there were moves to have him more regularly involved in the white-ball set-up. If the teams were split - something that Ponting has said he does not think would work - it could be likeliest route to him being involved in some capacity.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo