FORMER Somerset captain Justin Langer has been appointed batting coach of the Australian national side.

The former Australia Test opener, who retired from first-class cricket at the end of the season, has also taken on a mentoring role by Cricket Australia.

Langer, who turns 39 on Saturday, enjoyed three successful seasons in charge at th County Ground, despite a lack of silverware.

And, under his guidance, many of Somerset’s younger players have begun to fulfill their potential.

This appointment is Langer’s first step into coaching since he retired from the international scene after the 2006-7 Ashes series.

Langer said: “ When Cricket Australia approached me about this appointment, I felt privileged to be considered."

“I have been passionate about Australian cricket for many years so I am excited about playing a ‘hands-on’ role in the continued development of the Test team, particularly in the batting and leadership departments.”

Somerset chief executive Richard Gould said: “This is great news for Justin Langer and it will give him a great opportunity to build on the team management role that he performed so successfully for Somerset over the last three years.”