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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Cricket

Coach Lehmann vows stability for Australia
AFP
Sydney, October 05, 2013
First Published: 08:20 IST(5/10/2013)
Last Updated: 11:15 IST(5/10/2013)

Coach Darren Lehmann has vowed there will be more stability in the Australian team for the return Ashes series after repeated chopping and changing in England without success.

Australia used 17 players in the recent Tests against England and, including the matches in India earlier this year, have picked 22 players in their past nine Tests but failed to win any of them, the Sydney Morning Herald said.

Several former players led by Steve Waugh have urged Lehmann to select a team and stick with it to have any chance of putting Australian cricket back on a winning path after their 3-0 defeat against old adversaries England in the five-Test series.

Waugh, who benefited when selectors stuck with him despite a slow start to his international career, says players find it hard to relax and play their natural game with the axe hanging over their heads.

Lehmann, who was parachuted into the Australia job just 16 days before the Ashes started after Mickey Arthur was sacked, said he plans more stability.

''What we will do is settle the side once the team is announced,'' he told the Herald.

''And we'll make it perfectly clear where people are batting and we'll be sticking with that group for a while."

''That happens when you're a coach and you're not winning – you've got to find out about the players and I certainly found out about a few players."

''To be fair, in the one-dayers we're really settled. That will happen in the Test matches now. I think we're at the stage now that we know where we're going and who we want.''

Lehmann's appointment as coach in June, immediately after a stint in the Indian Premier League, means he has barely had any time off since April.

Cricket Australia has allowed him to skip the one-day tour to India – the squad was due to leave Saturday – to focus on the winning back the Ashes.

He said what had become clear now he has had a breather is how much he has learned from the job.

''I've got my head round it now,'' he told the newspaper.

''Now it's about working out all the other things we need to do to get better. It was great to just jump straight into it but the other side of the coin is I can sit back and say 'this is what we need'.''

The first of the five return Ashes Tests in Australia starts in Brisbane on November 21.


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