Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 5th day December 17, 2013

Australia's revival bears Lehmann's mark

It is impossible to say how this series would have panned out had Mickey Arthur still been in charge, but Darren Lehmann's approach has paid off handsomely
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Push Alastair Cook's men close in England, develop intelligence on their players, return to Australia to win the urn on home soil. That was the plan formulated by Mickey Arthur and Michael Clarke earlier this year. It is now coming to fruition, just with one slight change of personnel. Instead of being in the dressing room as Australia tightened their grip on England the WACA, Arthur was in a radio commentary box, watching Clarke and Darren Lehmann from afar.

So much has happened with this Australian team that it is hard to believe it was less than six months ago that Arthur was summoned to a meeting in Bristol with Pat Howard and James Sutherland and summarily terminated as coach. It was a swift and decisive move from Cricket Australia's bosses, who believed the atmosphere in the camp had deteriorated to such an extent that change had to be made, even if the Ashes in England was less than three weeks away.

That series was lost 3-0, but now Australia are reaping the benefits of change. It is impossible to say how the results would have panned out had Arthur remained. What can be said without doubt is that Lehmann has instilled in the squad a sense of calm, and a sense of fun. It is intangible, but visible in the way the players interact in the nets, their relaxed smiles while dealing with the media, and the way they have played.

Of course, it's easy to be relaxed when you're winning. The question, perhaps impossible to answer, is whether the Australians are relaxed because they're winning, or winning because they're relaxed. Michael Vaughan, who played under captain Lehmann at Yorkshire, said Lehmann was capable of delivering a verbal rollicking when required, but his most important trait was the capacity to calm the nerves of his players.

"His ability to make people view cricket as just a game is his strength," Vaughan wrote in the Telegraph last week. "He makes a player, even during pressurised situations, feel as if he is playing for his club side on a Saturday afternoon."

It is a common theme amongst those who have played under Lehmann. Adam Gilchrist, a player in coach Lehmann's Deccan Chargers side, was in Perth ahead of the third Test. He said that while Mitchell Johnson's bowling was clearly the difference between the two sides on the field so far in this series, he sensed an off-field change in the Australian camp as well.

"I continue to go back to Darren Lehmann and the seeds that he would have planted as soon as he assumed that role," Gilchrist said. "His fingerprints are all over the atmosphere around that team. I know from personal experience he's a guy who creates the right atmosphere for people to feel like they can then do their best.

"I think Michael Clarke is one of the great beneficiaries of having Darren Lehmann around. I can't put words in his mouth but I would imagine if you ask him at the end he would speak along similar lines. He just de-stresses situations and players and leaders, so I think Pup has really relished working with him, and that's allowed a lot more of his inner personality to come out."

Another of the great beneficiaries of Lehmann's approach is Johnson, whose previous incarnations in Test cricket have combined on-field ups and downs with off-field anxieties. Johnson is now a husband and father and has gained a sense of perspective about what is important in life. That cricket-life balance is a key part of the Lehmann mantra, and while any number of factors have contributed to Johnson's resurgence, the new coach was one of them.

"He's been a big part," Johnson said of Lehmann's ability to keep him grounded. "He understands the players. He's been in the situation before as a player. He knows what's going on and he has got a calming influence. But he'll also tell you if you're being an idiot or doing something that you shouldn't be doing.

"He is a straight shooter, which is what you want, but he understands the players and gets to know each player, which is pretty important as a coach. He knows how people tick and he's definitely found that with me. We have got a lot of trust, and trust is another big part of it."

There appeared to be a breakdown of trust during Australia's tour of India earlier in the year, when Johnson and three other members of the squad were suspended for a Test for failing to complete an off-field task Arthur had asked of them. Chris Rogers, who was not part of that touring party, said the players always knew where they stood under Lehmann.

"His fingerprints are all over the atmosphere around that team."
Adam Gilchrist on Darren Lehmann

"He's been exceptional," Rogers said. "I think it's the real calmness he's brought; he's given us a great direction in how he wants us to play but also how he wants us to act on and off the field. I think as a player if you can relax and express yourself and not be worried about what's going on in the change room, it's the best feeling in cricket. I've no doubt he's brought unbelievable attributes to this side."

One is the aggressive approach he encourages against spin. "There are no fielders in the car park," Lehmann likes to say, a mantra based on the way he batted himself. Australia's batsmen have tested that theory, hitting 26 sixes off England's spinners so far in the series - 20 of which have come against Graeme Swann's offspin. Swann's economy rate of 3.94 in the first three Tests is comfortably his worst in any Test series, and in turn heaped pressure on England's seamers. Several players, George Bailey among them, gained confidence in this method by taking down R Ashwin in the ODIs in India that preceded the Ashes.

International coaching has been a learning process for Lehmann, who was fined by the ICC during the tour of England for calling Stuart Broad a cheat during an interview for an Australian radio station. And as a selector, he was one of the men responsible for the constantly changing team during that series. The net effect, though, was settling on a preferred line-up for the return series in Australia.

Regaining the Ashes will mean the 3-0 loss in England will be largely forgotten. It was, after all, a learning experience, an intelligence-gathering mission. That was how Clarke and Arthur viewed it. They had very different views of proceedings at the WACA, where the ultra-aggressive approach of Shane Watson and Bailey on the fourth morning was indicative of the Lehmann style.

"Our destiny as a captain-coach relationship was going to be defined by the Ashes in Australia," Arthur said in a radio interview on day four in Perth.

Instead, it is the Clarke-Lehmann legacy that has been ensured. Arthur may wonder if he could have delivered the same results. Nobody can answer that question. In any case, he has moved on. And under Lehmann, Australian cricket has moved onwards and upwards.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 19, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    Shaggy076 ..... spot on!!! I have never seen such unrelenting bowling ... And the bond between Siddle Johnson and Harris is amazing. Like a pack of wolves on a hunt. Pattinson and Starc will be relegated to Australia A for some time if they can keep this up.

    Congratulations must go to Boof and McDermott.

  • Kulaputra on December 19, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    It is a game and let us keep it that way

  • valvolux on December 18, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Australia have a wealth of bowlers that should dominate everyone for years, except maybe India in India. Still need heaps more batsmen. At least we abandoned those bowler friendly pitches of the last couple of shield seasons, now we have heaps of batsmen in form with confidence. The last ashes we were picking booked with shield averages in the 30s with no confidence. A batsman who has spent 5 hours on a flat pitch, which all 3 ashes pitches have been, is always going to be seeing the ball better, no matter what pitch you put them on, than a better batsman who's spent 20 minutes at the crease facing hand grenades. In ashes terms though, it never matters about whether you might win them in 2 years time, it only matters if you have them now! And by golly do australia have them. 5-0 would completely erase the previous years of hurt. Do it boys!

  • Shaggy076 on December 18, 2013, 4:12 GMT

    I don't see why Australia will drop off in the near future. They seem to have a hungry team, the bowling line-up is brilliant and the major reason we have won back the Ashes, and I can't see Harris, Johnson or Siddle retiring in the near future. We will still have back-up in Pattinson, Bird, Bollinger and Starc if anything goes amiss with them. Haddin had an exceptional series but keepers are easily replaced, Rogers wouldn't be around too much longer and a hungry Phil Hughes will be ready to take over at his end. The rest I cant see finising up in the next couple of years.

  • dutchy on December 18, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    Arthur deserved to be sacked for his ridiculous plan to go to England and "gather intelligence". That's an appalling strategy. We should have gone to India to win, to England to win. We still have a long way to go and we will only get there if we keep trying to win.

  • on December 18, 2013, 2:48 GMT

    People have commented on the age of the Australian team. I for one believe that no matter what age you are if your at the top or near top of your skills you can still play a part. The whole idea was to win the Ashes and that they have done. CA now has two years to blood new players and if fitness is good we already have a bowling cartel for the future. If all the cricketers in the Australian team were 35+ it doesn't matter the job is done.

  • DesPlatt on December 18, 2013, 2:38 GMT

    Leggie ; good comment. Think this will be near the peak of this aging , injury prone Aus team though I would like them to do well in SA. Good to hear that DL helped players enjoy the game ; he probably gave the impression he would take the flak which is what good bosses do in any walk of life .

  • SoyQuearns on December 18, 2013, 2:07 GMT

    @Manxmuppet - to label it a plan is to misinterpret the entire standpoint.

    It was a realistic assessment of things at that point in time. Heart of hearts, Pup and Arthur knew we had very little chance, so it was about measuring and setting reasonable expectations in order to give us the best possible chance of a victory in more suitable and enabling conditions.

    And Australia has played better in Australia v England in this series than England played in England v Australia (in the most recent series).

    England have been blown out of the water and are now shells of the 'fabulous cricketing team' the English media incorrectly lauded them as.

    Cook is a decent player, a very good man manager but a dreadful captain. This isn't news, however it has been firmly underlined in this series. If your team is good enough, anyone can appear as a 'great' captain (e.g. Ponting).

    Once England's buttons were pushed Cook had nothing, Clarke superior with bat and captaincy = super obvious/undeniable.

  • disco_bob on December 18, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    @Manxmuppet, overall Australia played better cricket than England in England the difference there was that England played the crucial moments better, their 3-0 scoreline flattered them however the 3-0 scoreline here accurately reflects the difference between the teams.

  • disco_bob on December 18, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    I gotta admit I had some serious doubts when Lehman left Lyon out of the first two matches in England especially so after the India debacle. It seemed like crazy funkiness and I think it still was, but I can forgive it now that it is patently clear that Boof is exactly what we needed. It's also obvious that while our futbol team is certainly better managed by a European manager, only an Australian should be in charge of the Australia Cricket Squad. No outsider could possibly understand the Hills Hoist Aussie mentality.

  • on December 19, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    Shaggy076 ..... spot on!!! I have never seen such unrelenting bowling ... And the bond between Siddle Johnson and Harris is amazing. Like a pack of wolves on a hunt. Pattinson and Starc will be relegated to Australia A for some time if they can keep this up.

    Congratulations must go to Boof and McDermott.

  • Kulaputra on December 19, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    It is a game and let us keep it that way

  • valvolux on December 18, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Australia have a wealth of bowlers that should dominate everyone for years, except maybe India in India. Still need heaps more batsmen. At least we abandoned those bowler friendly pitches of the last couple of shield seasons, now we have heaps of batsmen in form with confidence. The last ashes we were picking booked with shield averages in the 30s with no confidence. A batsman who has spent 5 hours on a flat pitch, which all 3 ashes pitches have been, is always going to be seeing the ball better, no matter what pitch you put them on, than a better batsman who's spent 20 minutes at the crease facing hand grenades. In ashes terms though, it never matters about whether you might win them in 2 years time, it only matters if you have them now! And by golly do australia have them. 5-0 would completely erase the previous years of hurt. Do it boys!

  • Shaggy076 on December 18, 2013, 4:12 GMT

    I don't see why Australia will drop off in the near future. They seem to have a hungry team, the bowling line-up is brilliant and the major reason we have won back the Ashes, and I can't see Harris, Johnson or Siddle retiring in the near future. We will still have back-up in Pattinson, Bird, Bollinger and Starc if anything goes amiss with them. Haddin had an exceptional series but keepers are easily replaced, Rogers wouldn't be around too much longer and a hungry Phil Hughes will be ready to take over at his end. The rest I cant see finising up in the next couple of years.

  • dutchy on December 18, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    Arthur deserved to be sacked for his ridiculous plan to go to England and "gather intelligence". That's an appalling strategy. We should have gone to India to win, to England to win. We still have a long way to go and we will only get there if we keep trying to win.

  • on December 18, 2013, 2:48 GMT

    People have commented on the age of the Australian team. I for one believe that no matter what age you are if your at the top or near top of your skills you can still play a part. The whole idea was to win the Ashes and that they have done. CA now has two years to blood new players and if fitness is good we already have a bowling cartel for the future. If all the cricketers in the Australian team were 35+ it doesn't matter the job is done.

  • DesPlatt on December 18, 2013, 2:38 GMT

    Leggie ; good comment. Think this will be near the peak of this aging , injury prone Aus team though I would like them to do well in SA. Good to hear that DL helped players enjoy the game ; he probably gave the impression he would take the flak which is what good bosses do in any walk of life .

  • SoyQuearns on December 18, 2013, 2:07 GMT

    @Manxmuppet - to label it a plan is to misinterpret the entire standpoint.

    It was a realistic assessment of things at that point in time. Heart of hearts, Pup and Arthur knew we had very little chance, so it was about measuring and setting reasonable expectations in order to give us the best possible chance of a victory in more suitable and enabling conditions.

    And Australia has played better in Australia v England in this series than England played in England v Australia (in the most recent series).

    England have been blown out of the water and are now shells of the 'fabulous cricketing team' the English media incorrectly lauded them as.

    Cook is a decent player, a very good man manager but a dreadful captain. This isn't news, however it has been firmly underlined in this series. If your team is good enough, anyone can appear as a 'great' captain (e.g. Ponting).

    Once England's buttons were pushed Cook had nothing, Clarke superior with bat and captaincy = super obvious/undeniable.

  • disco_bob on December 18, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    @Manxmuppet, overall Australia played better cricket than England in England the difference there was that England played the crucial moments better, their 3-0 scoreline flattered them however the 3-0 scoreline here accurately reflects the difference between the teams.

  • disco_bob on December 18, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    I gotta admit I had some serious doubts when Lehman left Lyon out of the first two matches in England especially so after the India debacle. It seemed like crazy funkiness and I think it still was, but I can forgive it now that it is patently clear that Boof is exactly what we needed. It's also obvious that while our futbol team is certainly better managed by a European manager, only an Australian should be in charge of the Australia Cricket Squad. No outsider could possibly understand the Hills Hoist Aussie mentality.

  • Beertjie on December 17, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    Of course there's a long way to go and judging from Clarke's responses after the game, they are fully aware of the need to continue to achieve results if the goal of eventually becoming #1 is to be reached. After the humiliating results of the past year, even a 5-0 swallow won't make a summer. On their seventh tour to SA since the latter's re-admission Oz will be as competitive as ever. The Ashes result will only boost local Shield performances and younger players such as Lynn, Maddinson, Silk will eventually replace the old guard. It will be the hard task of the NSP to make the right choices at the right times. This will ensure the smooth transition and eventual attainment and retention of the coveted #1.

  • on December 17, 2013, 18:50 GMT

    Congrats to the Aussies on a tremendous and stirring victory.Shades of England 2005,although nothing can rival that series..Certainly the Aussies look revived and England have been out thought and outwitted.Kudos to Lehman ans Clarke..they had to suffer both the tough and now must enjoy the fruit of their labour.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on December 17, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    I fear all the talk of Australia's upward sounds premature. They have been unstoppable at home over the last 3 seasons, but have invariably come undone outside of familiar conditions.

  • Leggie on December 17, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    A nice victory for the Aussies, and it's always nice to see "revenge" - be it in movies or in cricket :-) This would sound even better if the win is away from home-which many teams seem to struggle to achieve in world cricket these days. What needs to be avoided now is going overboard and praising Lehman for all the success. Yes, he has achieved helped win back ashes, but if Australia has a larger vision and have plans to regain it's past glory, they have to be consistent & must have performances to show in all parts of the world. There are still gaping holes in the team. Australia have consistently been bailed out by Haddin and the lower order in the last 3 Tests. The top order have only succeeded in the comfort of a large 1st innings lead. Aussie bowlers are not getting any younger. The new brigade have failed their fitness consistently. They've still not found a good standby for Haddin, and save for Lyon, there appears no backup spinner. Definitely Lehman/Clarke have their handsfull

  • bard_cacophonix on December 17, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    @sunil batra: Rogers and Haddin are legends? Haddin was only brought back to the squad in India because there was no vice-captain! I guess Steve Smith is two test matches shy of being a "legend" for you :)

  • chitti_cricket on December 17, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    oh please players aside the media is making a major fumble here. Boof certainly looks better with this Aussie side as an Aussie himself and know they way Aussie's like the dressing root environment. But the current crop of players delivered these results and this media should stop attributing the things to wrong place.

  • Barnesy4444 on December 17, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    Of course Lehmann has to be given a lot of credit for this success. He does it wherever he coaches. He gets the best out of his players and they play for the team.

    Warner is transformed, Johnson bowling the best in 6 years, Clarke relaxed with the weight of responsibility off his shoulders, Hughes's scoring century after century in the Shield with clear and simple instructions.

  • Mary_786 on December 17, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    kingman boof has bought about a cultural change in the team and that's why we won, its wasn't one player that got us the win, but a team effort which he is responsible for

  • Kingman75 on December 17, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    Oh please, lehmann has contributed nothing to this result. Had pattinson not been injured, Johnson would not have played. Johnson is the key difference between the sides. Had Johnson bowled as well in the England series, we would have won 3 nil earlier in the year.

  • Manxmuppet on December 17, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    Taking nothing away from what the Aussies have achieved, I think it's a bit over the top to claim that this result was all some form of Australian master plan. To lose the Ashes in England and then ambush England in Australia and thrash them in the first 3 tests?....... It's a nice thought but more likely that it was more a case of win every game by as much as possible (that's the normal rule of thumb in sport). It's just that England played better in England and Australia has played better in Australia.

    Or maybe they are plotting to lose the next series in England so they can regain the next one in Aus............

  • CustomKid on December 17, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    Good old boof. His record as a player and coach is exceptional. As a coach he's won all the main trophies ipl, shield, now the ashes, time to target the world number one position but that will take time and some doing. That said if anyone can guide a team to the top in tests it is the man at the helm. Saffas are still top dog but I think the Aussies will at least be competitve over there, maybe a drawn series or a close but competitve loss like last summer.

  • mahjut on December 17, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    I guess one might claim that Boof allowing Johnson to play his game won the series - I think i would just take my hat off to Johnson (and a couple of the other aussies ... Haddin, Smith, Clarke...) I could not see this coming at all - good on ya fellas!

    As to whether or not Arthurs suited the aussies - I don't think he did but Flower has done a great job with England since Fletcher ... no doubt about it. You could say he struggled containing KP but in fact England is possibbly the only team KP has actually maintained a relationship with. Flower's time should be up now (though his two new picks in Carberry and Stokes have proved spot on - does he have the balls to dump the rubbish)

  • Sunil_Batra on December 17, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    Boof is the best coach in the world at present, what he has achieved is nothing short of a miracle. Warner shows why he is the best young batsman in the country, this is fastastic to watch, credit to boof for bringing self belief in the players. Now i look forward to the likes of Khawaja, Cummins, Starc and Paine getting into the sides when some of our older legends(i.e Haddin, Rogers) retire.

  • on December 17, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    This is great for Test cricket, we need this. Matches involving all of Ind, SA, Eng, Aus need to be 5 Tests. We don't care about 7 ODI series or pointless 20-20s. This is what we want!

  • Mary_786 on December 17, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Boof should be nominated for coach of the year, the turnaround under him has been better then amazing. This is the best day in Australian cricket for some time and will win back alot of fans back. Boof has essentially bought back belief into the players and is rewarding perfomance. He is not about sports science or running the team as a business but about winning cricket games the old fashion way and we so badly needed that.

  • on December 17, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    You cannot keep Australia down. England harp on about 1981 and 2005 Ashes series, the West Indies reminisce about the 1980s (even had to release a movie about it), India never stop talking about Eden Gardens in 2001, and Sri Lanka keep re-running the 1996 World Cup. Australia don't sit on their laurels, they look forward, they plan, they work hard, they win.

  • on December 17, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    Congratulations to Lehmann and Australia.

    But just remember folks, Cricket has a funny way of coming back to bite you. Ricky Ponting's 5-0 victory in 2006/07 was totally forgotten when he lost 3-1 in 2010/11. England will be back.

  • Maroubra_Flyer on December 17, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Well done Oz the Australian coaching outfit deserves a lot of credit, they have resurrected the side. Great selection too, great to see us back to the pick & stick method that made us successful (& I hope it continues). Great to see Warner, Smith, Johnson, Watson rejuvenate their Test careers. Not to mention Nathan Lyon, he got 3 wickets today, clearly our best spinner.

  • vswami on December 17, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    Ok. So whats the verdict on playing the ODI series in India before the Ashes. Johnson seems to have revived in India, Bailey got his place in the side, players have been belting Swann as if its the final overs of a T20 game. So it wasnt all that bad.

  • Thegimp on December 17, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    I don't think Arthur's style suits Australians as I don't think Flower's style suits England. It may instill disciplin for a time but natual personalities will get strangled. Watson/Pietersen/Warne/Warner/Johnson are classic examples. Trying to tamper with the way they go about things only adds to the stress and detracts from their performance. Wayne Clarke got away with it in the 00s due to having probably the most natuarlly gifted team ever to grace a field but it did strangle Simmons and Warne

  • Lost_in_London on December 17, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    Winning the Ashes 3-0 against South Africa B side. Bring on South Africa A next.

  • Jeremy303 on December 17, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    Now all we need is for Mark Cosgrove to replace Chris Rogers (after this series, or the SA one that follows) and the Boof footprint will be all over the team.

  • dunger.bob on December 17, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    I've always thought of Boof as a bit of a rough diamond. I loved his cricket. Now there was a man who could find the fence in some amazing ways. Don't forget his sneaky left arm offies in One Day cricket either. Yeah, anyway, he's not always perfectly PC and speaks his mind so I expect a few verbal slip ups from him over the course of his career as Aussie coach. .. From what I've seen so far, I hope it's a long, long career. .. We're Aussies, we need an Aussie coach because we have our way of playing and no-one else really does that. Boof, being an ex Test and ODI player from the Golden Days knows exactly the attitude it takes to win. Been there, done that and even got the T-Shirt. I'm not surprised he's a positive influence because of that not to mention he's a good, funny but knowledgable bloke.

  • KarmatBaig on December 17, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    You cannot take away the fact the huge impact McDermott has made to the bowling upon rejoining the coaching staff. He should be credited for resurgence of Australian bowling.

  • HatsforBats on December 17, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    @ Other comments, let's try and finish off this series 5-0 first before we think about SA.

    Arthur was a bad fit from the start. Lehmann is a gifted cricketer who understands how we like to play the game (only a few years out of the game himself) and obviously knows how to make our team feel comfortable. Let's hope we can keep this group (team & management) around for a good few years.

  • Perplexed on December 17, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    Well done, Australia. I'm looking forward to the next test series against South Africa!

  • PrasPunter on December 17, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    The real test for us starts in Feb when we face SA !! Can enjoy the moment though !! Hey we just regained the Ashes !!! Wow !!!

  • Meety on December 17, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    Dunno about whether would of achieved the success of this series had Arthurs been in charge. Would Craig Mac have been the bowling coach under Arthurs this summer? Dunno. I think Oz would of done a BIT better in England with Arthurs, he was dealt with shabbily, even though I didn't think he was the right coach for Oz when he was appointed. I tend to think Oz wouldn't own the Ashes by now had Arthurs been coach - unprovable. What is clear, is that Lehman/Craig Mac & Clarke are a very good mix for the team at the moment & there is no reason why this regime can't drag Oz to #1 in the Test & ODI rankings (small matter of the Saffas - lol)!

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  • Meety on December 17, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    Dunno about whether would of achieved the success of this series had Arthurs been in charge. Would Craig Mac have been the bowling coach under Arthurs this summer? Dunno. I think Oz would of done a BIT better in England with Arthurs, he was dealt with shabbily, even though I didn't think he was the right coach for Oz when he was appointed. I tend to think Oz wouldn't own the Ashes by now had Arthurs been coach - unprovable. What is clear, is that Lehman/Craig Mac & Clarke are a very good mix for the team at the moment & there is no reason why this regime can't drag Oz to #1 in the Test & ODI rankings (small matter of the Saffas - lol)!

  • PrasPunter on December 17, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    The real test for us starts in Feb when we face SA !! Can enjoy the moment though !! Hey we just regained the Ashes !!! Wow !!!

  • Perplexed on December 17, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    Well done, Australia. I'm looking forward to the next test series against South Africa!

  • HatsforBats on December 17, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    @ Other comments, let's try and finish off this series 5-0 first before we think about SA.

    Arthur was a bad fit from the start. Lehmann is a gifted cricketer who understands how we like to play the game (only a few years out of the game himself) and obviously knows how to make our team feel comfortable. Let's hope we can keep this group (team & management) around for a good few years.

  • KarmatBaig on December 17, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    You cannot take away the fact the huge impact McDermott has made to the bowling upon rejoining the coaching staff. He should be credited for resurgence of Australian bowling.

  • dunger.bob on December 17, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    I've always thought of Boof as a bit of a rough diamond. I loved his cricket. Now there was a man who could find the fence in some amazing ways. Don't forget his sneaky left arm offies in One Day cricket either. Yeah, anyway, he's not always perfectly PC and speaks his mind so I expect a few verbal slip ups from him over the course of his career as Aussie coach. .. From what I've seen so far, I hope it's a long, long career. .. We're Aussies, we need an Aussie coach because we have our way of playing and no-one else really does that. Boof, being an ex Test and ODI player from the Golden Days knows exactly the attitude it takes to win. Been there, done that and even got the T-Shirt. I'm not surprised he's a positive influence because of that not to mention he's a good, funny but knowledgable bloke.

  • Jeremy303 on December 17, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    Now all we need is for Mark Cosgrove to replace Chris Rogers (after this series, or the SA one that follows) and the Boof footprint will be all over the team.

  • Lost_in_London on December 17, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    Winning the Ashes 3-0 against South Africa B side. Bring on South Africa A next.

  • Thegimp on December 17, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    I don't think Arthur's style suits Australians as I don't think Flower's style suits England. It may instill disciplin for a time but natual personalities will get strangled. Watson/Pietersen/Warne/Warner/Johnson are classic examples. Trying to tamper with the way they go about things only adds to the stress and detracts from their performance. Wayne Clarke got away with it in the 00s due to having probably the most natuarlly gifted team ever to grace a field but it did strangle Simmons and Warne

  • vswami on December 17, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    Ok. So whats the verdict on playing the ODI series in India before the Ashes. Johnson seems to have revived in India, Bailey got his place in the side, players have been belting Swann as if its the final overs of a T20 game. So it wasnt all that bad.