The Investec Ashes 2013 August 26, 2013

Lehmann with much to learn

  shares 28

Australia must improve and so too, by his own admission, does their coach Darren Lehmann. In the aftermath of a 3-0 series defeat that ended with an ICC fine for too readily taking the bait thrown by England fast bowler Stuart Broad, Lehmann said he had learned much from his first international assignment, including the fact that even a "jovial" radio interview back home can ping around the world if he does not choose his words more wisely.

Lehmann arrived in the job only two weeks before the start of the Ashes bout, and while he has been credited with lifting Australia's team spirit and preaching an aggressive, flair-filled brand of the game, he has been unable to bring about the lift of standards required for the team to win a Test match. They have now gone nine Tests without singing the team song, and as Lehmann acknowledged his error in responding to Broad, he also spoke of unearthing a "winning attitude".

"It was a good learning curve for a new coach, wasn't it?" Lehmann said. "You know, a jovial setting but you've got to learn from that. I've got to learn and improve from that. The players aren't on their own in trying to improve. Coaches have got to improve so that's something I've got to get better at. I've had a chat with him (Broad) already. We just move on.

"I'm still loving it, it's a great job. I'd like to win a Test match though, but it's a fantastic job. Now I've seen all the players here, and the one-day and Twenty20 players are obviously [arriving] Thursday, so you get to deal with them and look at how we're going in that format of the game as well. By the end of the tour I'll have a really good mindset on all the players, which will be quite comforting for me as coach."

Lehmann did not retreat for one moment from the version of cricket romanticism he and captain Michael Clarke have shown an evangelical zeal for, even though England's shrewdness and pragmatism has stonewalled them repeatedly across the series. He took pride in having setup a thrilling final day of the Oval Test, though the generosity of Clarke's declaration meant the tourists were ultimately left cajoling the umpires into using their light meter and ending play - the object of a crowd's well-oiled booing at the end of the match.

"Look, I can't control the crowd. They've been pretty good all series. We've kept them quiet most of the time, even though we are 3-0 down, so it shows how close it probably is," Lehmann said. "In regards to that you can't do anything about that. What I do know is that game was set up totally by the Australian cricket team and I think the crowd probably enjoyed that more than the other days so far. That's the brand of cricket we want to play. We want to push the boundaries.

"We were quite happy to lose a game to set up the game. English fans have been great all summer, but to come out and see that on the last day, I think it was outstanding from Michael and the set-up what we tried to do. We want to keep challenging our players in those situations to get better, learn from the mistakes we make. We're going to make mistakes, we understand that. But we've got to improve from there. If we do that, then we can challenge."

Having had so little preparatory time ahead of the series and also no say in the touring party that was chosen, Lehmann said that while he had been impressed overall by the work ethic of the players, changes could be expected before the return matches in Australia. It may be that Lehmann asks for his own choices of assistant coaches, as has become fashionable in 21st century sport.

"It's great learning about the players how they are. I'm very impressed with their work ethic on and off the ground, how they go about it," Lehmann said. "I think there's a lot of improvement in our setup, which is exciting for me. Would I change too much? Really hard when you've just come into the setup and the touring side's been picked. When we're back home you'll probably see different things happen, but in terms of hearing a lot of things from outside and not being in that circle for many years, to come in and see how they're trying to improve all the time was impressive for me. Now it's just a matter of improving that skill level for us to compete better than we have."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Edwards_Anderson on | August 29, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    Sunil for me also boof is the best coach in the country, we will be singing his praises after the home ashes and i also think he will bring the best out of our lefties such as Khawaja, Cowan, Warner and co especially on playing spin

  • POSTED BY Sunil_Batra on | August 28, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    @Paulrampley good words mate, like you i am a fan of boof as well, and expect us to do much better in the home ashes and like you i expect the likes of Warner and Khawaja to fire under him and also add Smith to that list as well.

  • POSTED BY Paul_Rampley on | August 28, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    Boof is a good coach, he came in 2 weeks before the series started and we were competitive in most of the test matches except for Lords. What i like best about boof is that he instills belief in the younger players and i expect the likes of Warner, Khawaja, Starc and Bird to come through strongly under him.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | August 28, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    "Lehmann did not retreat for one moment from the version of cricket romanticism he and captain Michael Clarke have shown an evangelical zeal for, even though England's shrewdness and pragmatism has stonewalled them". Nicely put Daniel. The reason that Lehmann & Co (some of their fans) are whingeing is PRECISELY because they could get absolutely nothing out of England. Not a cent. "Romanticism" and Australia do not go in the same sentence together. Australians are bent on winning and winners. Losers get ignored. This is why there is hardly any mention of cricket in the sports pages of the Australian press. Cricket Australia does not want it's marque series or it's team ignored as losers. So - faced with the problem of how to manage the public image of this losing Australian team, Lehmann et al are forced to rant and spit the dummy because that's all they have. "We were quite happy to lose a game to set up the game" This is also an attention seeking giant lie. Lehmann has no credibility.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    You can't change the fortunes of a team so quickly. Lehmann has done a fair job. The team has finally found a direction.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | August 28, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    @MinusZero on (August 28, 2013, 0:14 GMT), except that they did take 20 wickets in both the first and fourth games of this series. They may have done in the second game if their batsman had scored more first innings runs and they may have done in the third if it hadn't rained. It's hard to say what would have happened in the fifth game if a day wasn't lost to rain but England did look fairly comfortable even scoring at 5 an over. Regardless of the fifth Test, it's clear that the ability to take 20 wickets was not Australia's primary issue.

  • POSTED BY MinusZero on | August 28, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    There is much focus on Australia's batting failures, but what about their bowling. No wins in 9 tests. That means 9 matches that they havent been able to take 20 wickets.

  • POSTED BY knapsta on | August 27, 2013, 23:30 GMT

    @ disco_bob I'm not commenting on Cook, I'm commenting on the praise Clarke is getting for making an "aggresive" declaration, personally I don't rate either of them as a captain. But if you were England and you had an upcoming ashes series in Aus to play, you wouldn't want to give Aus an easy win to gain some confidence. As others have pointed out, it was clarkes only choice, if he hadn't of done it he's a muppet as would be any other captain.

  • POSTED BY ADB1 on | August 27, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    Lehmann: "Coaches have got to improve so that's something I've got to get better at."

    So he's got to get better at getting better? Need to polish up the PR speak, Daz.

    And gsingh7 and electric loco, are those thrashings of India by England STILL hurting? C'mon, it's only a game.

  • POSTED BY on | August 27, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    It was not a "brave declaration" by Clarke.It was a desperate attempt by Clarke to salvage something after a disatraous tour and 7 loses in the last 9 test matches.It was not even a gamble.It was sheer desperation.

  • POSTED BY Edwards_Anderson on | August 29, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    Sunil for me also boof is the best coach in the country, we will be singing his praises after the home ashes and i also think he will bring the best out of our lefties such as Khawaja, Cowan, Warner and co especially on playing spin

  • POSTED BY Sunil_Batra on | August 28, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    @Paulrampley good words mate, like you i am a fan of boof as well, and expect us to do much better in the home ashes and like you i expect the likes of Warner and Khawaja to fire under him and also add Smith to that list as well.

  • POSTED BY Paul_Rampley on | August 28, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    Boof is a good coach, he came in 2 weeks before the series started and we were competitive in most of the test matches except for Lords. What i like best about boof is that he instills belief in the younger players and i expect the likes of Warner, Khawaja, Starc and Bird to come through strongly under him.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | August 28, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    "Lehmann did not retreat for one moment from the version of cricket romanticism he and captain Michael Clarke have shown an evangelical zeal for, even though England's shrewdness and pragmatism has stonewalled them". Nicely put Daniel. The reason that Lehmann & Co (some of their fans) are whingeing is PRECISELY because they could get absolutely nothing out of England. Not a cent. "Romanticism" and Australia do not go in the same sentence together. Australians are bent on winning and winners. Losers get ignored. This is why there is hardly any mention of cricket in the sports pages of the Australian press. Cricket Australia does not want it's marque series or it's team ignored as losers. So - faced with the problem of how to manage the public image of this losing Australian team, Lehmann et al are forced to rant and spit the dummy because that's all they have. "We were quite happy to lose a game to set up the game" This is also an attention seeking giant lie. Lehmann has no credibility.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    You can't change the fortunes of a team so quickly. Lehmann has done a fair job. The team has finally found a direction.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | August 28, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    @MinusZero on (August 28, 2013, 0:14 GMT), except that they did take 20 wickets in both the first and fourth games of this series. They may have done in the second game if their batsman had scored more first innings runs and they may have done in the third if it hadn't rained. It's hard to say what would have happened in the fifth game if a day wasn't lost to rain but England did look fairly comfortable even scoring at 5 an over. Regardless of the fifth Test, it's clear that the ability to take 20 wickets was not Australia's primary issue.

  • POSTED BY MinusZero on | August 28, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    There is much focus on Australia's batting failures, but what about their bowling. No wins in 9 tests. That means 9 matches that they havent been able to take 20 wickets.

  • POSTED BY knapsta on | August 27, 2013, 23:30 GMT

    @ disco_bob I'm not commenting on Cook, I'm commenting on the praise Clarke is getting for making an "aggresive" declaration, personally I don't rate either of them as a captain. But if you were England and you had an upcoming ashes series in Aus to play, you wouldn't want to give Aus an easy win to gain some confidence. As others have pointed out, it was clarkes only choice, if he hadn't of done it he's a muppet as would be any other captain.

  • POSTED BY ADB1 on | August 27, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    Lehmann: "Coaches have got to improve so that's something I've got to get better at."

    So he's got to get better at getting better? Need to polish up the PR speak, Daz.

    And gsingh7 and electric loco, are those thrashings of India by England STILL hurting? C'mon, it's only a game.

  • POSTED BY on | August 27, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    It was not a "brave declaration" by Clarke.It was a desperate attempt by Clarke to salvage something after a disatraous tour and 7 loses in the last 9 test matches.It was not even a gamble.It was sheer desperation.

  • POSTED BY Test_Cricket_is_the_Best_Cricket on | August 27, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    Seriously, this sounds like the speech a minnows side gives after being somewhat competitive in the face of total defeat. We work hard off the field. We're learning. We have to improve. We need to compete better. Trying to instill a winning attitude. Raise our standards. Here's the only thing you need to say: We need to find better players.

  • POSTED BY Charlie101 on | August 27, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    I for one am all for Australia playing a fearless brand of agressive cricket and hope they continue in that mind set in the Ashes down under . England will continue their steady form of the game and then continue going for the jugular when it matters to win test matches .

  • POSTED BY humdrum on | August 27, 2013, 11:41 GMT

    If only cook had not wasted time nannying the bowlers in the field,england could have sqeezed the remaining four overs.So,poetic justice at the end of the day,you have to say.

  • POSTED BY salazar555 on | August 27, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Clarke had nothing to lose and it's easy to be brave when that is the situation, plus by the end he was begging to come off for light so he didn't go down 4-0.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | August 27, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    @ knapsta by you logic then Cook is probably the worst captain in Test cricket because he'd be the last person to declare with ANY risk of a loss no matter how small the risk no matter what the series situation.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | August 27, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    @gsingh7 on (August 26, 2013, 18:23 GMT), we can always trust you to provide impartial analysis of anything involving England. How are the ICC going to punish Broad? He stood and waited for the umpire's decision. If I'm not mistaken, accepting the umpire's decision is expressly mentioned in the laws of the game while a batsman walking is not, so what exactly would he be punished for? If Broad is to be punished then are they to also punish other batsmen who don't walk? Exactly how do they determine when a batsman knows that he's out and should walk? Will Haddin be punished for not walking in the same game, having admitted that he knew that he'd edged the ball? How is it against the spirit of the game to do just what batsmen have been doing for well over a hundred years, dating back to well before cricket was a professional sport? We'll file this with all your other comments that ignore logic.

  • POSTED BY knapsta on | August 27, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    I don't understand why Clarke is getting so much praise for declaring. He's down 3-0 in series, he has nothing to lose and everything to gain if his decleration gave Aus a win. England don't want Aus to win a test, Aus have far more to gain out of a declaration than England do. As far as I am concerned he did what he had to do, if he didn't declare then he is a poor captain. It wasn't exactly outstanding captaincy on his part.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | August 27, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4 on (August 26, 2013, 14:33 GMT), what it takes to be successful as a team is to have a team of good players. That's something that Australia had during Lehmann's playing days.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | August 27, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    Not playing Lyon, most certainly cost us any chance of a decent scoreline, a foolish uncalled for pointless gamble of epic incompetence. I do not understand why they did not give Hughes a decent run, this was the opportunity as he is our long term opener.

  • POSTED BY whoster on | August 27, 2013, 0:43 GMT

    I can't believe Lehmann is trying to imply that Clarke's declaration was some kind of beautiful gesture on behalf of cricket. Somehow I don't think he'd have viewed it quite so gushingly had it cost them the series 4-0.

    After the disappointments of a narrow defeat at Trent Bridge, a thrashing at Lords, being cursed by the weather at Manchester, a nightmare 4th innings collapse at Durham - defeat at The Oval would've topped the lot put together. It's one thing to lose three Tests in this series, but if they'd lost a fourth after handing England a no-strings opportunity for victory, Clarke and Lehmann would've been crucified. When the cameras honed-in on Clarke in the last few overs, he had the terrified look of a captain about to go down as making one of the biggest blunders in Ashes history.

    As for Lehmann, he's lost touch with reality by telling us how grateful we should be by witnessing such an exhilirating brand of cricket from his side. England are grateful anyway.

  • POSTED BY VillageBlacksmith on | August 27, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    Aussies keep wanting praise for setting up "a game" but they were very quick to close "the game" down & whinge to the umpires about light when they were going to lose. Putting things into context they are grasping at straws for anything. And as many posters say on here, Lehman has a lot to learn about saying less but meaning more.

  • POSTED BY __PK on | August 26, 2013, 22:45 GMT

    cric_follower has it all wrong. When you've got credibility as a player and are building credibility as a coach, we want to hear more from you and less from journos who don't have a clue. And if your genuine opinion is controversial, then so be it. Boof was just saying what most of us were thinking. Well done to him and Clarke for giving us an entertaining last day, despite England's cowardly efforts to draw the test from day 3, despite being 3-0 up.

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | August 26, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    Aussies have a good captain in Clarke and the support staff is not too shabby. They just lack players who can perform consistently for 5 days. While a lot of questions are being asked of the tactics and musical chairs batting order, the real issue is that nothing they have tried has worked because they don't have players of the right caliber.

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | August 26, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    lehmann comments were ill advised , rather thoughtless to be precise , but we should not lose the bigger picture here.broad did brought spirit of game in dispute and icc left him off the hook, even without a slap on wrist. thats what must have bothered lehmann to express his views to the radio station back home in a non formal interview.if anyone deserve all the heckling and booing then it surely has to be broad, he should have upheld the spirit of the game and walked instantly.

  • POSTED BY on | August 26, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    Wow, good on you Australia for making a sporting declaration and "setting up the game". While I'm wondering if you guys are such risk-takers then why didn't Clarke take a more aggressive approach with the declaration to win when the series was still actually being contested in game 3? They seem to be fishing for any ounce of praise they can get.... fair enough I guess because apart from their pace men there's not really much praise in order

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | August 26, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    I would rather say the Eng team -Broad most of all -can learn about fair play,respect for opposition, the game and most of all the spirit of cricket which are most relevent especially at this time for test cricket to survive. What if he is Aus teams coach ? The good things can be imbibed even if not of your own support team and Lehmann is 1 of the most class cricketers with a load of exp. and most imp. a part of -though small - of that invincible Aus side and very well knows what it takes to be successful as a team .

  • POSTED BY skilebow on | August 26, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    I think the booing was down to alcohol and the heat of the moment. Plus any chance to boo the aussies is always taken. Look at Ponting, booed at times (which I never agreed with) but ultimately paid the biggest compliment as the booing only highlighted the fact he was the aussie us Poms feared

  • POSTED BY cric_follower on | August 26, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    He speaks too much for a coach!! Learn from Gary Kirsten and Andy Flower dude. Stick to business.

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  • POSTED BY cric_follower on | August 26, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    He speaks too much for a coach!! Learn from Gary Kirsten and Andy Flower dude. Stick to business.

  • POSTED BY skilebow on | August 26, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    I think the booing was down to alcohol and the heat of the moment. Plus any chance to boo the aussies is always taken. Look at Ponting, booed at times (which I never agreed with) but ultimately paid the biggest compliment as the booing only highlighted the fact he was the aussie us Poms feared

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | August 26, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    I would rather say the Eng team -Broad most of all -can learn about fair play,respect for opposition, the game and most of all the spirit of cricket which are most relevent especially at this time for test cricket to survive. What if he is Aus teams coach ? The good things can be imbibed even if not of your own support team and Lehmann is 1 of the most class cricketers with a load of exp. and most imp. a part of -though small - of that invincible Aus side and very well knows what it takes to be successful as a team .

  • POSTED BY on | August 26, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    Wow, good on you Australia for making a sporting declaration and "setting up the game". While I'm wondering if you guys are such risk-takers then why didn't Clarke take a more aggressive approach with the declaration to win when the series was still actually being contested in game 3? They seem to be fishing for any ounce of praise they can get.... fair enough I guess because apart from their pace men there's not really much praise in order

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | August 26, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    lehmann comments were ill advised , rather thoughtless to be precise , but we should not lose the bigger picture here.broad did brought spirit of game in dispute and icc left him off the hook, even without a slap on wrist. thats what must have bothered lehmann to express his views to the radio station back home in a non formal interview.if anyone deserve all the heckling and booing then it surely has to be broad, he should have upheld the spirit of the game and walked instantly.

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | August 26, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    Aussies have a good captain in Clarke and the support staff is not too shabby. They just lack players who can perform consistently for 5 days. While a lot of questions are being asked of the tactics and musical chairs batting order, the real issue is that nothing they have tried has worked because they don't have players of the right caliber.

  • POSTED BY __PK on | August 26, 2013, 22:45 GMT

    cric_follower has it all wrong. When you've got credibility as a player and are building credibility as a coach, we want to hear more from you and less from journos who don't have a clue. And if your genuine opinion is controversial, then so be it. Boof was just saying what most of us were thinking. Well done to him and Clarke for giving us an entertaining last day, despite England's cowardly efforts to draw the test from day 3, despite being 3-0 up.

  • POSTED BY VillageBlacksmith on | August 27, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    Aussies keep wanting praise for setting up "a game" but they were very quick to close "the game" down & whinge to the umpires about light when they were going to lose. Putting things into context they are grasping at straws for anything. And as many posters say on here, Lehman has a lot to learn about saying less but meaning more.

  • POSTED BY whoster on | August 27, 2013, 0:43 GMT

    I can't believe Lehmann is trying to imply that Clarke's declaration was some kind of beautiful gesture on behalf of cricket. Somehow I don't think he'd have viewed it quite so gushingly had it cost them the series 4-0.

    After the disappointments of a narrow defeat at Trent Bridge, a thrashing at Lords, being cursed by the weather at Manchester, a nightmare 4th innings collapse at Durham - defeat at The Oval would've topped the lot put together. It's one thing to lose three Tests in this series, but if they'd lost a fourth after handing England a no-strings opportunity for victory, Clarke and Lehmann would've been crucified. When the cameras honed-in on Clarke in the last few overs, he had the terrified look of a captain about to go down as making one of the biggest blunders in Ashes history.

    As for Lehmann, he's lost touch with reality by telling us how grateful we should be by witnessing such an exhilirating brand of cricket from his side. England are grateful anyway.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | August 27, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    Not playing Lyon, most certainly cost us any chance of a decent scoreline, a foolish uncalled for pointless gamble of epic incompetence. I do not understand why they did not give Hughes a decent run, this was the opportunity as he is our long term opener.