Mo’ bet­ter crick­eters

Coach says he loves the way Aus­tralia are hark­ing back to the glory days

Weekend Witness - - Sport -

SYD­NEY — Coach Dar­ren Lehmann yes­ter­day said there will be no let-up as Aus­tralia con­tinue their ag­gres­sive in-your-face cricket against Eng­land in the cur­rent Ashes Test se­ries.

Amid the ran­cour over a spite­ful open­ing Test in Bris­bane that 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-your­face 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% 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 the match with match fig­ures of nine wick­ets for 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.

“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.

He 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 stress-re­lated ill­ness.

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

PHOTO: REUTERS

Aus­tralian cricket coach Dar­ren Lehmann wants his team to show sim­i­lar ag­gres­sion in the sec­ond Ashes Test.

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