Lehmann still awaiting medical clearance
Australia's coach Darren Lehmann remains marooned in Sydney awaiting medical clearance to fly after his deep vein thrombosis scare, and is no certainty to travel to New Zealand for the Test series that could give his side the world No. 1 ranking.
While Lehmann, his players and Cricket Australia are all equally eager for him to return to the team, longer-term considerations will play a part in their thinking. Following New Zealand are the longer trips to South Africa and then India for the World T20. One factor in favour of Lehmann going to New Zealand for the Tests are a pair of longer stays in Wellington and Christchurch, with the option of driving between the two venues.
Having faced his second bout of DVT following an earlier instance in 2007, Lehmann said he would be taking greater precautions when travelling in future, whether that meant wearing skins on flights, moving around the cabin more often or no longer making a habit of falling asleep whenever the plane left the tarmac.
"Still recovering from the DVT but for me it's just about hopefully get medical clearance later on in the week and see where we go from there and join the New Zealand crew," Lehmann said. "But until medical clearance comes through that I can fly, I'll have to wait and see. But feeling a lot better.
"I've had it before, so I knew straightaway what was going to happen, it was straight to hospital and then in overnight and straight onto the thinning tablets now. It's a case of getting the blood right. Having been through it before you know what's happening.
"Now the specialists are pretty comfortable they'll get it under control. End of the day I sleep on the plane, I probably shouldn't be sleeping too much and moving around [more], but it's one of those things, in our job you fly a lot. You've just got to be careful."
Watching Australia's T20 travails from a distance has been difficult for Lehmann, who said his television was still working "just" after successive defeats in the first two matches of the India series. He agreed that Australia's short-form team needed more continuity to perform at a higher level, but was unsure of how that might be achieved.
"They don't play that often together, scheduling's a tough one for us, we're getting prepared for New Zealand which is an important one for us as well," he said. "The World T20 is just around the corner, so you've got to find the best solution somewhere so we're got some guys in New Zealand, some guys here, we're rewarding good performances in the BBL and having a look at some young guys. It's a tough one, but we're really confident going into the World T20.
"Where do you fit it in? One-dayers are just as important, we just had a World Cup last year. Test matches are equally important. So it's trying to find the right balance and that's always a hard thing for scheduling. You'd love to have a big lead-in, we haven't, can't do much about that. With the three games in South Africa with our squad and then the World Cup, it is what it is."
As for news that the former Michael Clarke is making his return to cricket after a five-month sabbatical, Lehmann said he was happy whenever one of the "greats of the game" showed a desire to get back involved. "I spoke to him this morning," Lehmann said. "He'll play this grade game in February and see where it takes him from there.
"It's great to have one of the greats back. He's obviously missed the game, loves the game, pleased for him to be starting back in club cricket and see where it goes from there. That's what we want from the older guys, staying in the game. Let him get back and play some cricket and see where it takes him."
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig