Australia are regretting their slackness during the Melbourne Test against India last December that ended up costing them a place in the final of the ICC World Test Championship. During the contest, the hosts were guilty of maintaining a slow-over rate which resulted in the ICC docking them four WTC points as they were found of being two overs behind.

Once Australia cancelled their three-match Test tour of South Africa, New Zealand qualified for the final after finishing 0.3 per cent ahead of their Trans-Tasman rivals. However, Australia were still in the hunt depending on the outcome of the India-England four-match Test series.

As it turned out, India went on to win the series 3-1 punching their way to the summit clash where they will face New Zealand from June 18 in Southampton. Now, Australia head coach Justin Langer has expressed his disappointment saying his team were “really slack”.

“This might be the silliest thing I’ve ever said, but our manager Gavin Dovey … he’d been away, he’d gone home for Christmas to be with his family,” Langer told SEN. “It wasn’t until after the game that we realised our over rate was down. Now, that’s really slack on our behalf.”

“I remember we were in the team room afterwards and I spoke to Painey (skipper Tim Paine) and Dene Hills, our analyst, about it. I was a bit grumpy about it and I thought ‘imagine if this cost us the World Test Championship’,” he added.

Australia finished third in the points table.

“And I mentioned it to the players afterwards that two overs down could cost us the World Test Championship. And so, we have to get better at that and make sure it doesn’t happen in Sydney and Brisbane. It’s very disappointing, but the lesson is the things that we can control, we have to control. And we can’t relax for a second in Test cricket,” Langer said.

Meanwhile, Australia have now set their eyes on the upcoming T20 World Cup in India set to be played later this year. And Langer said the performances of their players taking part in the IPL will be taken into consideration.

“There’s no better showcase for some of our players. They’re playing in the same conditions (as the World Cup). We’ll watch that really closely and see who performs well,” Langer said. “It’s a great opportunity for a lot of players. They get to play a lot of cricket under pressure, that can only benefit them individually and us collectively.”