Justin Langer wasn’t sure whether to “cry his eyes out” or “smash his hotel room” after the third Test.
Justin Langer wasn’t sure whether to “cry his eyes out” or “smash his hotel room” after the third Test.

Headingley heist to fire up Aussies warns Langer

ALWAYS capable of finding inspiration outside the cricket bubble, Australia coach Justin Langer has likened Ben Stokes' Headingley heist to Muhammad Ali's stolen childhood bike.

Langer and his squad are sick of talking about Stokes' stunning six-laden heroics, which denied them a win that would have retained the Ashes.

The five-Test series is level at 1-1, meaning victory in the fourth Test that begins on Wednesday would ensure Langer's team become the first Australian outfit to retain the urn in England since 2001.

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Langer was hit as hard by the loss as anybody, noting he "wasn't sure whether to cry my eyes out or smash my hotel room".

The well-read former Test opener has since worked hard to try to heal any scars and ensure Australia summon Ali's fighting spirit, first sparked at age 12 when a policeman suggested he take up boxing after his prized bicycle was stolen.

"The champions have all had times of adversity. Whether it's in business, sport or life," Langer told reporters.

"Think about Muhammad Ali getting his bike stolen ... that was the fire he needed to become the greatest boxer of all time.

"We felt a bit like we got the Ashes stolen the other day.

"Now we got to work out what we're going to do and use that as fire. We're not going to feel sorry for ourselves and let it slip."

Vice-captain Pat Cummins suggested the touring party quickly moved on from the gutting result, including Nathan Lyon.

Lyon failed to gather Cummins' throw at the non-striker's end and complete a simple run-out chance that would have handed Australia a one-run win in the third Test.

"Everyone always reacts differently. A couple of boys need an hour, some boys need a day. Nath's fine," Cummins told AAP.

"It's pretty easy to dwell on all the what-if scenarios after a loss. "Everyone had a couple of days to digest everything and get away from cricket. Everyone's been pretty good ... we're positive, enjoying each other's company. I don't think it's been too much of a drain on the boys."

News Corp Australia

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