Mo’ better cricketers
Coach says he loves the way Australia are harking back to the glory days
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.
Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann wants his team to show similar aggression in the second Ashes Test.