England were hopeless in Ashes; not just Langer, anyone could've been successful: McCullum
Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum has termed the current England Test side as "hopeless"
Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum has termed the current England Test side, which toured Australia for the Ashes, as "hopeless", adding that not just coach Justin Langer but anyone else in his place would have achieved a similar result against the Joe Root-led side.
Australia defeated England 4-0 in the five-Test Ashes series.
As Langer's resignation from the post of Australian head coach's job rocks the cricketing world, McCullum said that while the 51-year-old former opener did a great job of regaining the trust of the nation following the Sandpaper-gate scandal of 2018 in South Africa, the team's performance wasn't that impressive as was being made out to be.
Langer's exit has led to a huge outcry with several of his former team-mates, including Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne among others, castigating Cricket Australia (CA) for its handling of the matter.
Langer's contract as Australia head coach was due to expire in June this year but CA was only willing to give him an extension till the ICC T20 World Cup in October-November 2022.
"England were hopeless, so I think anyone that was at the helm in the Ashes, they would have won that," McCullum told SENZ Breakfast on Tuesday. "The T20 World Cup (in the UAE) was a really good performance, but aside from that, the performance was just a bit middling for an Australian cricket side."
McCullum believes that Langer lost the respect of his players due to his coaching style. According to reports, Langer's position as coach had become shaky in August last year after players and support staff had made their dislike of his "volatile micromanagement style" known.
"The danger was that he lost the changing room, he lost the group," said McCullum. "The two most recent performances of the T20 World Cup and the Ashes, from what I understand, a lot of that was actually player driven. After the feedback he had from Cricket Australia and the players previously was that he was too intense and needed to take a step back. And so he took that step back, which was great, but then they got the success," said McCullum.
"So was it the players who were driving it (the success) forward, or was it his ability to step back, and was that going to last forever," he said.
Under Langer, while Australia retained the Ashes in England in 2019 with a 2-2 draw, the head coach was unable to guide the side to any away series victory in his tenure, something McCullum feels is a mediocre achievement.
"He didn't win a Test series away from home, which for an Australian side is pretty average really, and he wasn't overwhelmingly successful. Yes, he did a good job while he was there, but I can kind of see why they wanted to head in a different direction as well."