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Langer to start fresh with ailing Warriors

AAP logoAAP 21/11/2016 By Justin Chadwick

Western Australia coach Justin Langer has embarked on a cleanout in a bid to help the Warriors out of their current mire - and he hopes the damage will be limited to his pin-up board.

WA sit dead last on the Sheffield Shield table after starting their season with three straight losses.

They also missed the finals of the recent one-day competition, and they currently have no players in the Test squad.

The current situation doesn't paint a rosy picture.

But Langer is brimming with confidence he can turn it around.

When Langer was first appointed coach four years ago, he came into the gig with a blueprint on how to transform WA cricket.

The plan worked wonders.

Langer guided the Scorchers to two BBL titles, WA to two Sheffield Shield finals, and title success in the one-day competition.

More importantly, Langer transformed the culture of WA's elite cricketers, helping them become among the fittest players in the country.

But Langer feels the recent focus on outcomes - like Test selection and silverware - have served as a costly distraction to the team.

Injuries to stars such as Nathan Coulter-Nile, Shaun Marsh, Ashton Agar, and Joel Paris have also made the team's task tougher.

But Langer doesn't want to use that as an excuse, instead saying it's time to implement some fresh ideas in a bid to rejuvenate the squad.

"I feel like at the moment it's where it was when I came in four years ago," Langer said.

"It looks dire, but I'm actually really looking forward to this next chapter of WA cricket.

"We had a really good four years.

"If you walk into my office now, you'll see all the stuff on my pin-up board that has been there for four years - including my article about the blueprint for WA cricket - is now all gone.

"I'm starting again. It's the new start. That's how I feel."

Langer said it was important for his players to get back to basics and relax in a bid to regain their mojo.

Opener Cameron Bancroft is a classic example of a player with all the talent in the world, but whose form has slumped whenever the spotlight has shone on him.

Bancroft came close to making his Test debut last year, and was in the frame for a call-up for the current series against South Africa before he got another case of the batting wobbles.

In six Shield innings this season, Bancroft has posted scores of 20, 17, 22, 6, 2, and 11.

Bancroft has looked so scratchy, Langer decided to send the 24-year-old back to the WA second XI side this week in a bid to give him some confidence-boosting time in the middle.

Langer is hopeful Mitch Marsh (shoulder), Adam Voges (concussion), and Ashton Agar (calf) will all be fit to take on Queensland in the Shield clash in Townsville, starting Saturday.

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