Australia news June 28, 2013

Warne and McDermott keen to help Lehmann

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shane Warne and the former Australia bowling coach Craig McDermott have offered their help to Darren Lehmann after the newly appointed head coach welcomed "legends" into the dressing room to share their experience and guidance with the current side.

Lehmann had said he welcomed former players into the dressing room, stating they "are an important part of what we're trying to create." Responding in his column for The Telegraph, Warne said, "I am always there to help any Australian cricketer and always have been. If I need to be around at practice to have a chat with boys about tactical stuff or bowling then I will do that. It's good to be part of the set-up but most of time my role will be informal, catching up on the phone or chatting over a drink or meal. I do not need a fancy job title to help out."

McDermott was similarly enthusiastic about having closer links to the national team after his departure from the fulltime role for personal reasons in 2012. Since then he has returned to be employed by Cricket Australia at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, helping the Ashes tourists on their preparatory camp, but now expressed interest in travelling with the team once more.

"If they ask, I'd certainly consider it,'' McDermott told the Sydney Morning Herald. ''I absolutely love working with Siddle, Pattinson and Starcy and Hilf, and all those guys. It was rewarding getting those guys to perform so well and beat India 4-0 in Australia a couple of years ago, and we bowled well in the West Indies after that. It's a good environment to work in, with athletes like that.

"I respect [Lehmann] very highly. I didn't play with him for Australia, he played for Australia after I retired. But he's certainly got a fantastic first-class record and for Australia and his coaching record now speaks for itself after the last couple of years with Queensland. His no-nonsense type approach will be well respected and well received from the Australian team."

Lehmann took over as Australia's coach after Mickey Arthur was sacked earlier in the week. Warne, who had earlier in the year suggested that Stephen Fleming take over from Arthur as coach, highlighted what he thought would be the differences between Arthur and Lehmann in terms of coaching.

"Boof [Lehmann] is not really a coach," Warne said. "Yes, sure he can tell you about technique but he will be speaking to players about how they approach the game and prepare. He is a mentor. He has been there, done it and endured all the ups and downs over a lifetime in cricket. He has a great rapport with players, a good understanding of how to balance the old school and new."

Warne, a critic of Australia's rotation policy, said Lehmann's practical approach to cricket would show in team selection, where he could be expected to play the best XI. He stated that preparations for Test matches would be old-school and "based on skills", a sign that that sports science would not dictate team selection.

"Boof will help Michael big time during breaks on match day. There is lots of good information and advice around these days in terms of sports science, recovery and fitness. But those things should not be the priority and dictate selection. With Boof cricket will come first. The other stuff will be supplementary," Warne said, while citing the instance of Peter Siddle's exclusion from the final Test against South Africa in November, 2012, with the series drawn at 0-0. Siddle was rested for the Test after suffering from exhaustion in the previous match.

McDermott, meanwhile, expressed strong confidence that Australia's bowlers would leave their mark on the Ashes. "I worked with the Australian boys for 2½ weeks before they left for England. I'm very happy with our bowling attack, it's as good as you'll get anywhere in the world, particular if they're all fit and bowling well," he said. "I've got every faith in them - we've just got to make sure we bowl the right line and length. It's the old adage - you bowl too short in England, you're easy pickings."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Matt on July 1, 2013, 15:38 GMT

    why isn't McDermott on a plane already??

  • Cameron on July 1, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    RednWhiteArmy: slight issue with the whole 10-nil thing; you'll get flogged at the WACA (as always)

  • Adhitya on June 30, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    Australia have played only one match (that too - a warm-up match) under Lehmann but I don't know why, I feel so relieved and happy.

    The mood is very good and the only way is forward now!!

    Come On Aussies!!!!

  • Simon on June 30, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    It may be too early to tell, but it appears sanity is returning after the last coupla years of double speak and medical prevention theories. We can only hope. The one consistency through all of that computer modelled 'coaching philosophy' was the performance of Lehman whose charges performed against the 'grain' in three different arenas. Good luck Australia, no doubt we'll see a glimmer in the Ashes and the real results start to show in the coming Aussie summer. A breath of fresh air. Now if only CA spends some of their TV rights windfall on realistic pathways for players, we may not see such knee jerk reaction when the next inevitable cycle in performance occurs.

  • Dummy4 on June 30, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    Australia will regain their supermacy against england in Ashes series under Lehmann.

  • Sean on June 30, 2013, 0:44 GMT

    Yep get Warne involved. Then we'll have extra motivation for the 10 - 0 dual whitewash

  • David on June 29, 2013, 22:42 GMT

    This all looks a little ominous for England. Somerset easily despatched. Batters and bowlers looking in good form. A popular and common-sensical coach appointed, who is bound to lift morale (we only hope he doesn't strap on his pads too). And England's response to all of this has been some Ted Dexter-ish poetry.

  • Dummy4 on June 29, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    The obvious punt is K Rudd and Australia the double. Resurgent, I tell you, resurgent.

  • John on June 29, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    The thing that McDermott gets is that bowlers must bowl full lengths in order to get meaningful movement. Too short and the ball won't get that late swing or seam movement which is what gets top international batsmen out. Maybe he could tell Broad and Finn that, too.

    Warne was a naturally brilliant bowler and what worked for him is practically unteachable. As a captain he got bored far too easily to be a really good test captain, though he would have been excellent in the shorter formats. He's a fun guy to have around, but someone like Steve Waugh would be far more valuable in communicating the mindset necessary to play test cricket.

    It's great that Lehmann follows a more open-door policy. Hopefully the players will buy into the idea that they're all in this together. It can only be good for team morale.

  • Ashok on June 29, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    Australian temas have always been great fighters who had great self belief. The big differnce to South African psyche (they are also great fighters) is that SA culture is a lot more serious. If you look at their Rugby & past cricket teams, conflict never upset team performance. Australian psyche never handled conflit within the team very well. Under Greg Chappel's captaincy in the 70's the team had issues with management & did poorly. Andrew Symons saga is well known. Mohali homework is another example of a South African mindset classing with the fair dinkum Aussie style. I expect Shane Watson to do very well in this Ashes. He will want to prove a point to all. He is a very competitive player and he will perform.

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