Finished watching The Test on Amazon.
I thought the early episodes covering Langer's appointment were really impressive - his capacity to come in and instill cultural change, obtain buy-in from such a huge group of young men who had, until now, lived in an environment preaching the complete opposite values, and do it all on the run when so many wanted them to fail at it.
And then as the program continued, the losses came thick and fast, you realize that the changes instilled were probably more to do with large amounts of money spent by Cricket Australia on getting cultural change experts from the corporate world to do it all in the background, and in reality, Langer was a fairly ordinary coach that got by on being liked by his players and his credentials as a player, and not much else.
Thought Aaron Finch came off poorly and sympathetic - a bit of a dinosaur in how simplistic his approach was to the game, but also respected him allowing anything to go to final cut, and how much he was genuinely struggling with that scrutiny.
The Khawaja stuff was really fascinating. Feel like it was the tip of the iceberg for the animosity between him and the coaching set-up, and never really explores him being unfairly dumped ahead of Harris during the Ashes.
Lyon tearing up giving Travis Head his baggy green was nice to watch, but then coming off as a pretty shit bloke in other aspects. "Kohli has Australian levels of competitiveness" was just such a wanker thing to say. And who visits Gallipoli wearing a camouflage coloured snapback?
Warner comes off as an absolute cocksmoker in every possible bit of footage, and whilst I'm sure it's intentional of the directors of the doco to facilitate this, I doubt it wouldn't have been hard to do. From his speech to the dressing room upon his return, showing no remorse or anything learnt from what he'd done and being met with blokes largely looking disinterested or at their phone, to Smith opening up about how he'd struggled with it and getting a much better response instead. Even that last shot of the two Ashes sides having a beer, and everyone getting on, whilst Warner looks a non-participant in a conversation amongst Stokes, Pattinson and Marsh. I enjoyed Ponting calling him out during the World Cup too.
I wish they'd spent a bit more time on the selection committee meetings. What little they showed ahead of the India series was super tantalizing but gave little away after that.
Felt bad for Sridiharan Sririam - came off as a total outsider in the doco. His three contributions to the doco - giving a speech in the first test in the UAE being met with total silence and a patronizing "Yeah totally right, would love to be in our shoes not their's mate" from Langer. Being held down by one player while another smears chocolate cake in his face on his birthday, and then getting involved in the after match celebration after they retained the Ashes, as he was needed to play Kumar Dharmasena. Felt really offputting.
The right suspects are viewed in a more positive light than what they walked in as, and as such, you can probably view it as a success from that perspective. I hope there's a follow up.