Justin Langer feels Western Warriors are not far away

Western Warriors coach Justin Langer believes his young side aren’t far away from breaking through despite finishing fifth at this month’s RYOBI One-Day Cup. The Warriors arrived back in Perth on Wednesday after a fortnight in Sydney where they won one out of six matches in the carnival-style RYOBI Cup.

Western Australia cricket team (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The squad must immediately turn its attention now to the Bupa Sheffield Shield which commences next Wednesday, with the Warriors flying to Melbourne to take on the Victorian Bushrangers in their opener.

“I’m not sure we are that far off. We just need to win those key moments,” Langer said. “When you’ve got so many kids in the team, it’s something you can’t teach them. They need to learn from experience.

“They are preparing really well. They are in great shape physically, they are great kids. We just need to be patient”, he added. “There’s no magic formula, there’s no magic dust, we need to keep working hard and giving these kids great experience.”

Langer was also full of praise for Shaun Marsh who returned from a hamstring injury in sensational style, scoring 304 runs in four innings at an average of 76, including a stunning 119 in Tuesday’s loss to Queensland. Marsh’s fine RYOBI Cup form has initiated suggestions of an Ashes callup.

Shaun Marsh at a training session at the Adela...

“Not only is he batting well, but he’s been faultless for 12 months in his choices off the park, so he deserves every bit of success he’s getting,” Langer said. “He’s coming to that prime period that batsmen usually come in around 29 to 32 so this is the time for him to cash in and bank as many runs as he can. If he can keep doing that, I’m sure higher honours will come his way.”

Langer said the upcoming Sheffield Shield would be an audition for several players hoping to be part of the Ashes squad.

“I think it’s an audition for many players,” he said. “We’ve seen in the last nine Tests, there’s been nine different Test teams. It means the Australian selectors aren’t necessarily settled on the best team to win the Ashes.

“So the Sheffield Shield competition is a great audition. Imagine being a young player now. The opportunities are huge.”

Langer also reflected on the new RYOBI Cup format stating playing in tournament-style cricket was a good experience for the group.

The Warriors coach also revealed he hadn’t managed to convince Simon Katich - who returned to play for WA at the RYOBI Cup after more than a decade away from his home state - to play Shield cricket, but said “the door remains open” to him if he changes his mind.

James Buttler

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