When Langer sought Bradman's help to tackle medium pacers

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Melbourne, Nov 18 (IANS) Australia head coach Justin Langer has revealed how Sir Donald Bradman came to his aid in tackling medium pacers in Test cricket.

In August 1994, days ahead of Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka and Pakistan, Langer had reached out to Bradman in order to become a “successful Australian Test cricketer”.

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“As I am predominantly a back-foot player I wonder if you have any ideas on playing medium-pace bowlers,” cricket.com.au quoted Langer as writing in a letter addressed ‘Dear Sir Don’ in which he also sought insights on how Bradman prepared himself mentally for Test cricket.

“I feel a little bit shy about writing this letter, but I felt you may be able to offer me a little advice which may help me achieve my goal of becoming a very successful Test cricketer,” Langer wrote in his letter.

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In his letter, the former left-handed batsman had also mentioned about his difficulty of facing medium pacers compared to “quicks and spinners”.

Bradman’s reply, typed within a day of receiving Langer’s missive in August 1994, began with “you flatter me by suggesting that an old octogenarian like me can help with your cricket” remark.

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“You mention specially the medium pacers and the slight problem you have with them. Against them, I always started to move just before the delivery by going slightly back and across. In fact, the main basis of my batting was back play because I think this gives the batsman greater flexibility in many shots and taking the initiative than the forward player who becomes stuck in a grove,” Bradman added in his response.

Langer went on to play 105 Test matches and eight ODIs for Australia in which he scored 7696 and 160 runs respectively.

“As well as giving me valuable technical advice, Sir Donald told me he always played to have fun because he loved cricket,” Langer was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

“His letter to me is a treasured memory on my study wall. I see it every day when I’m at home,” he added.

Currently, he is with the Australian team which will be facing Team India in three ODIs, three T20Is and four Test matches beginning November 27.



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