After Steve Smith’s knock of 80* at the Manuka Oval helped Australia take a 1-0 T20I series lead against Pakistan, Langer heaped praise on Smith, lauding his problem solving abilities and his ability with the bat.
"Smith's greatest strength is his ability to solve problems, whether it's in Test cricket or T20 cricket,” Langer told Cricket Australia. “That's where he's so good at, the best players in the world do it. The best players adapt to white or red ball, or twenty-over or Test cricket.
"He played beautifully, we know how good a player he is. He loves batting, full-stop. He wants to be out there. I think Manuka Oval is an amazing cricket ground, it was a great batting wicket and Steven certainly took advantage.”
Smith’s return to the fold of Australian cricket after serving a year-long ban for ball-tampering is one of modern sport’s great comeback stories. He scored more than 700 runs in The Ashes earlier this year, his first Test series after his ban. Langer believes that while Smith has established himself in the long format, there was still scope for improvement when it came to the shorter formats of the game.
"Hopefully, he gets ranked one in all three formats, I think he'll be aspiring to do that. His Test series in England was incredible, his 90 (sic) in the semi-final of the World cup was incredible and the innings he played last night was sublime,” Langer added. “He's getting better and better which is greater for Australian cricket.”
With so much cricket being played, Australia also have one eye on next year’s T20 World Cup which they will be hosting. And Langer called it a ‘priority’ for Australian cricket.
"There will certainly be far greater focus on T20 cricket with World Cup coming up. It's a priority for Australian cricket, therefore you need to play your best players as often as you can," said Langer about their preparations.
"I just love the way the boys are playing their roles. In T20 cricket, it depends on how your bowling unit plays and your fielding is also really important. Our bowlers have done a good job, squeezing the opposition. Our fielding has been pretty good, but that's an area we need to keep working on."