Aus­tralia vow to re­main fired up for Ashes Tests

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

COACH Dar­ren Lehmann said yes­ter­day there will be no let-up as Aus­tralia con­tin­ues its ag­gres­sive in-your­face cricket against Eng­land in the cur­rent Ashes Test se­ries.

Amid the ran­cour over a spite­ful open­ing Test in Bris­bane which Aus­tralia won by 381 runs last weekend, Lehmann said he wants to take Aus­tralian cricket back to the golden eras of Den­nis Lillee and Jeff Thom­son, the Chappells and Steve Waugh.

Lehmann said the play­ing days of strong-willed Aus­tralian char­ac­ters, Merv Hughes, Rod Marsh and Al­lan Bor­der were de­fined by a good hard brand of cricket.

“We want to play within the rules but we will play ag­gres­sive, in- your- face cricket which was a trade­mark of those eras,” Lehmann said, writ­ing in News Lim­ited news­pa­pers.

“When Aus­tralian teams are per­form­ing at their best they are play­ing right on the edge as we were in Bris­bane. That is the Aussie way.”

Aus­tralia cap­tain Michael Clarke was fined 20 per­cent of his match fee by the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil af­ter warn­ing Eng­land’s James An­der­son to ex­pect a bro­ken arm.

The fi­nal day of the first Test boiled over with con­stant “sledg­ing” (in­sults) and plenty of fin­ger point­ing.

Lehmann gave no in­di­ca­tion that his Aus­tralia team would be back­ing off from their fiercely-fought cricket at the Gabba, where fire­brand pace­man Mitchell John­son was man- of- the­match with match fig­ures of 9/103.

“I loved the whole the­atre around Mitchell John­son’s dis­play at the Gabba right down to the fact that his new mous­tache brought back all those rich mem­o­ries of the 1970s with the stars and their han­dle­bar mo’s ( mous­taches),” Lehmann wrote.

“I like the sight of char­ac­ters ex­press­ing them­selves in the game. That’s the sort of cricket the fans want to see.

“We have asked Mitchell to fill a role and he did that bril­liantly with ag­gres­sion and con­fi­dence. We want him to liven them (Eng­land) up.

“When he is on song as he was in Bris­bane he pro­duces the type of per­for­mances that are a rare and pre­cious sight in the mod­ern game.

“My wish is that the lessons of John­son’s spell – and the en­tire bowl­ing ef­fort – echo down through the gen­er­a­tions.”

Lehmann said John­son’s blis­ter­ing spell at the Gabba re­minded him of Aus­tralian cricket in the Lillee-Thom­son era of the 1970s.

Lehmann said it had been a dra­matic week for cricket and he wanted to send his best wishes to Jonathan Trott fol­low­ing his de­ci­sion to re­turn home with a stress­re­lated ill­ness.

“He is a fine player and I’m sure we will see him again at in­ter­na­tional level,” he said.

Lehmann said he urged the Aus­tralian fans in next week’s sec­ond Ade­laide Test to repli­cate the crowd force of Bris­bane.

“The noise in Bris­bane when John­son and Nathan Lyon were spear­ing through Eng­land’s first in­nings was some­thing to be­hold,” he said.

“It is a long time since we have felt the sort of vibe that the whole coun­try was be­hind us. Thank you, Aus­tralia. Please keep it up.” – Sapa-AFP


AG­GRES­SIVE: Coach Dar­ren Lehmann says his team will play within the rules, but also go for the in-your-face ap­proach, against Eng­land in the re­main­ing Ashes Tests.

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