There is an Australian Test cricketer from many, many decades past who reserves a specific response for his wife when she castigates him for arriving home drunk. After her rebuke, he walks silently up the stairs to his bedroom. He removes all his clothes, gathers a solitary item, then returns downstairs. They are both serene, because they have both been here before. When he re-enters the room, he is naked but for the baggy green on his head. He stands opposite her, at a respectful distance.
“How many Tests have you played?” he drawls.
As we have seen in the past few weeks, exploits in the baggy green can provide excellent insurance against truth and reason. The crux of the defence of Justin Langer as coach runs along these lines, mounted by his blood brothers with whom he sang the team song. Some of them, anyway.
The argument works two ways. The first is that because Langer’s…