Darren Lehmann must bite his tongue to help Australia’s chances

Ronan O'Connell Columnist

By Ronan O'Connell, Ronan O'Connell is a Roar Expert

 , , , ,

171 Have your say

    Michael Clarke and Darren Lehmann in happier times. (AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK)

    Related coverage

    The Australians are shooting off at the mouth too often. After nine Tests without a win it’s time to they focus solely on improving their own game.

    Since the Ashes were regained by England, players James Faulkner and Mitchell Starc have had potshots at their opponents, while coach Darren Lehmann has seemed intent on sledging the Poms.

    After first labelling Stuart Broad a “cheat” for the infamous incident in which he didn’t walk after being caught at slip, Lehmann last week aimed fire at the English style of cricket.

    When asked what he thought of England’s play during the recent series he described it as “dour”.

    He then added that “at times I’d like to see their over rates picked up”.

    Ironically, both of these criticisms were very relevant to the manner in which Australia went about their business in the Ashes.

    They, like England, were often guilty of getting through their overs far too slowly.

    Every international team regularly commits this same crime and it is a major issue for Test cricket which has been allowed to fester by the International Cricket Council.

    If Lehmann is disturbed by England’s over rate he should instruct his side to set a better example.

    The coach should ensure that Australia’s over rate is so healthy in the upcoming series that it either forces the Poms to match it or shames them by comparison.

    Lehmann has previously stated that he is intent on any side he coaches playing attacking, entertaining cricket.

    Nothing is less attacking or less entertaining than crawling through your overs.

    As for his reference to England’s ‘dour’ cricket, he should be preaching to his players the value of adopting such a style on occasions.

    I am not a fan of the way England plays Test cricket – I find it often boring and sometimes cynical. But it works.

    I would hate to see Australia become a pale imitation of the English side.

    However, they should be willing to implement facets of the Pom’s approach when necessary.

    The Aussies need to learn to grind out a Test – either to stave off defeat or to maintain a stranglehold on their ascendancy.

    Australia had first innings leads in four of the five Tests in the Ashes yet came away without a win, although admittedly the weather did not help in some instances.

    The batsmen largely were to blame and, as has been the case in recent years, their impatience and desire to counterattack was often their downfall.

    Compare that to the batsmanship of Ian Bell, who repeatedly came to the crease with England in perilous situations and guided them with circumspect play stripped of arrogance.

    Bell was prepared to score slowly early in his innings in the knowledge he would flourish once well set.

    Would Lehmann consider this dour cricket? I’d rather describe it as sage.

    In any case, England’s supposedly ‘dour’ play has repeatedly saved them from defeat in recent years after they have found themselves being dominated.

    It has also ensured they have rarely given up winning positions in the same generous manner as Australia.

    In the same interview in which Lehmann made the ‘dour’ comment, he also praised his side for having made progress during the Ashes.

    That is undeniable – the Aussie batting improved over the series and the bowlers adeptly implemented wise strategies for most of England’s batsmen.

    Lehmann should forget about the whingeing and focus on maintaining this upward curve in performance along with attempting to iron out the obvious deficiencies in Australia’s play.

    Ronan O
    Ronan O'Connell

    Ronan O'Connell has been a journalist for well over 13 years, including nine at daily newspapers in WA. He now traverses the world as a travel photojournalist, contributing words and photography to more than 30 magazines and newspapers including CNN, BBC, The Toronto Star, The Guardian, The South China Morning Post, The Irish Examiner and The Australian Financial Review. Check out his work and follow him on Twitter @ronanoco

    Do you find yourself logged out of The Roar?
    We have just switched over to a secure site (https). This means you will need to log-in afresh. If you need help with recovering your password, please get in contact.

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (171)

    • October 2nd 2013 @ 8:37am
      Christo the Daddyo said | October 2nd 2013 @ 8:37am | ! Report

      Lehmann really isn’t all that smart. The obvious retort from the English to any of his (or his players’) comments is quite simple:

      “Look at the scoreboard”.

      No comeback from that one Boof.

      • October 2nd 2013 @ 9:43am
        zatoo77 said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:43am | ! Report

        Here’s the comeback if this is meant to be England’s dominant period they inspire no one. During Australians great period Warne took 600+ wickets, McGrath got 500+ wickets and batsman like s Waugh, Ponting, Hayden and Langer all scoring lots of runs. You also had players like Gilchrist who would turn games in an hour. All this excited and inspired kids to play cricket. England will never create the same aura scoring at 2 an over. So enjoy it while it lasts because you have inspired no one.

        • October 2nd 2013 @ 9:52am
          Disco said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:52am | ! Report

          Lehmann resorts to sledging instead of coaching his players to be better. Whether that’s because he’s not the messiah after all remains to be seen.

          Harking back to Australia’s dominant era reeks of sour grapes.

          • October 2nd 2013 @ 10:03am
            zatoo77 said | October 2nd 2013 @ 10:03am | ! Report

            Well at least we are able to. When your team is bad you wont be able to talk about when you were great scoring 2 an over. I think that everyone is underestimating Lehman and I think he likes that. look at Queensland. Lehman coached them to win the ford ranger cup the shield and the big bash in 2 years from nothing. Now he left Queensland did not even win a game in the champions league. He obviously had a huge impact on the team.

            • October 2nd 2013 @ 10:29am
              BBA said | October 2nd 2013 @ 10:29am | ! Report

              As a neutral in this, i would rather be talking about a 3 nuthin Ashes series win then a slow run rate.

              I dont think your counter sledge is going to hurt too many Poms, and right now it is hard to say whether the English dominance over Australia will inspire new cricketers. Certainly you could argue that the great Aussie team of the 90’s and naughties did not have had much “inspiration” on Aus’s future cricket stocks.

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 10:50am
                ChrisUK said | October 2nd 2013 @ 10:50am | ! Report

                Nope – it’s merely amusing really!

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 11:04am
                Bearfax said | October 2nd 2013 @ 11:04am | ! Report

                Is that the series where the team that batted first dominated. England batted first on the first, second and fourth matches winning easily on two occasions and just sneaking in on the third. Australia batted first on the third and fifth tests and were dominating. Difference was that those matches were rained out. On both occasions it seemed very likely in the third and quite likely on the fifth that Australia would have won had the games been uninterrupted. That was a truer indication of the series. England only seriously dominated in the second test. They were the better team, but it was much closer than 3-0

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 11:19am
                ChrisUK said | October 2nd 2013 @ 11:19am | ! Report

                And the 2010/11 Ashes was a lot more of a hammering than 3-1 indicated, with England winning three by an innings, racking up 517-1 in a draw, and getting caught on a doctored* pitch in the one they lost.

                So what? 3-1 was still the score.

                *Apparently saying a pitch is doctored doesn’t mean cheating in Australia I am reliably informed, so doctored is what we’ll call it. πŸ˜‰

              • Columnist

                October 2nd 2013 @ 12:21pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

                Spot on BBA

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 12:54pm
                Bearfax said | October 2nd 2013 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

                Just reinforcing my point Chris. Thanks for that. I agree Australia were demolished in the previous test series and it was a far greater drubbing than 3-1. Point is Australia were a lot more competitive on this occasion despite the 3-0 score line than the earlier series. Says to me that Australia is catching up quickly.

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 1:01pm
                Manoj said | October 2nd 2013 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

                Bearfax puts the series into perspective, we were so much more closer then what 3-0 suggests and all credit to boof for that. I am a fan of boof and expect us to do much better in the home ashes and like most fans i expect the likes of Warner and Khawaja to fire under him and also add Smith to that list as well. Our bowling will be a challenge without starc and pattinson but we have rhino, bird, siddle as the core of our attack.

              • Roar Guru

                October 2nd 2013 @ 1:14pm
                Chris Kettlewell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

                ChrisUK – How is losing a match on a Perth pitch that plays how the Perth pitch usually plays equate to losing on a doctored pitch? I’m not denying that England dominated that series, but to call the Perth pitch doctored is to show a serious level of ignorance I don’t expect from you.

              • Columnist

                October 2nd 2013 @ 1:17pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

                Bearfax you’re definitely right, the 2010-11 scoreline was more flattering to Oz than the last one yet they played far, far better in the recent series.

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 2:57pm
                Praveen said | October 2nd 2013 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

                Well said Manoj, boof is a great coach and I expect to see that in the coming ashes

              • Columnist

                October 2nd 2013 @ 3:04pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

                Let’s hope so Praveen.

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 6:52pm
                ChrisUK said | October 2nd 2013 @ 6:52pm | ! Report

                ChrisK – did you not notice the πŸ˜‰ at the end?

                This series in England most of the pitches played how they would be expected to as well. The exception was Trent Bridge, and that was a horrible track that somehow produced a great finish it didn’t deserve to.

                Depends how you look at it Bearfax. 2009 was only 2-1!

              • October 3rd 2013 @ 8:43am
                Bearfax said | October 3rd 2013 @ 8:43am | ! Report

                Always does depend on how you look at it Chris. But Australia’s bowling was at least competitive with England on this occasion which I think is undeniable given the English bats, other than Bell struggled against Oz bowling. This was a big change from the last series. Our batting was still struggling but Rogers did firm it up quite a bit and Smith showed some signs of maturity. But still a long way to go in that department.

              • October 3rd 2013 @ 8:58am
                ChrisUK said | October 3rd 2013 @ 8:58am | ! Report

                Oh Australia’s bowling is good (not that I’ll admit that to Ronan) so no shock they did well. Always a hard call jsnt it? Did they play well, or did we play poorly? You never really know the truth.

              • Columnist

                October 3rd 2013 @ 12:43pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | October 3rd 2013 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

                Bearfax Australia’s bowling was great in the Ashes but I do worry what will happen if Harris gets injured and Patto isn’t back to normal and is still bowling medium pace.

        • October 2nd 2013 @ 11:36am
          James said | October 2nd 2013 @ 11:36am | ! Report

          you cant compare that great australia team to any other team except the windies of the 70s and 80s, just as you cant compare the brazil 1970 soccer team to really any other national team except maybe the spain of the 2000s and could go on with different sports. those teams were freaks, a perfect alignment of players born in the right generation in a country that had the infrastructure to support them. no one, except australians sad at losing, are comparing this england team to the australian team of yesteryear. to do so just seems silly, its like mocking the west indies when they come over and them saying well yeah but your not as good as out team of 30 years ago. it just sounds silly.

      • Columnist

        October 2nd 2013 @ 12:20pm
        Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

        It is a bit of a disheartening thought that with all the focus and positivity which surrounded the great Aussie team over close to 15 years it didn’t spawn a generation of gun players.

        • October 2nd 2013 @ 1:23pm
          James said | October 2nd 2013 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

          sentimentality was the main problem i feel. for both the players and the establishment. west indies had the same problem. that notion that because a player did good in the past that they are allowed or have deserved the right to call time on their own career is a horrible one. the day after the 2006 ashes had finished, half the australian team should have been called in and fired or told that they will be let go after this test or this series. im sure if most of them had been told the reason, that they needed to blood new players and most importantly to have those new players coming in and playing whilst surrounded by greater players than they, most of the team would have been more than happy to do that. instead everyone left at the same time with no back ups anywhere. in fact in the last 5 years, apart from rogers, i cant think of any australian player who has come into the australia side and who actually deserves it in the sense that they are good enough, not in comparison to a gilchrist or hayden etc cause trying to replace them is silly but in the sense that the player is good enough for international cricket.

          • Columnist

            October 2nd 2013 @ 1:29pm
            Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

            James four members of the Australian team resigned either during or after that 2006-07 Ashes. That amounted to an exodus of four champions who had played 400+ Tests combined. That posed a big enough challenge to replace those players without deciding to force others into retirement.

            • October 2nd 2013 @ 6:54pm
              ChrisUK said | October 2nd 2013 @ 6:54pm | ! Report

              Reality for Australia there is that despite the criticism that everyone retired at once, how DO you manage the retirements in an ageing, but genuinely great side? It’s a lot harder than just trying to phase the new players in, or you end up not playing your best team. I have some sympathy with your selectors on that.

              • Columnist

                October 2nd 2013 @ 9:01pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:01pm | ! Report

                At the time Gilchrist was still a good player and Hayden was the only older player whose position was in doubt in my mind.

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 9:01pm
                fadida said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:01pm | ! Report

                The real issue for Australian cricket was that there was no rotation of the first XI at the time (we were dominant). There were many of us calling for fringe players to play in dead rubbers, so that the likes of Brad Hodge would have played 10-15 tests before the retirements. Even lehman spent years on the fringes if my memory is correct. We would have known who was up to the required quality in games that didn’t matter.

                So many series were won with 1-2 tests to play, but the same XI were still chosen. This would have allowed for a more seemless transition of the next generation, rather than suddenly having them all dropped in at once.

                I fear self interest (match payments), egos and an abundance of strong characters in the dressing room would have been the reason this didn’t happen.

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 9:08pm
                ChrisUK said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:08pm | ! Report

                I don’t know. It’s easy to say in hindsight isn’t it? It would have been a brave selection panel to rotate the team when they were conquering everyone. What if they’d then lost? They’d have been slaughtered for it. I guess you can always say things could have been done differently, but I have a bit more sympathy for their predicament than an Australian might.

              • Columnist

                October 2nd 2013 @ 9:10pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

                I can’t agree we should have been trialling new players in dead rubbers during our dominant era. But in hindsight we haven’t handled the generation change well over the past 6 years or so.

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 9:15pm
                ChrisUK said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:15pm | ! Report

                I wonder if realistically they could have handled it better though. It’s so very hard to manage a transition like that. Complacency, sure – but who has managed to avoid that complacency? West Indies went through it too – and Australia are in far better shape than them.

              • Columnist

                October 2nd 2013 @ 9:18pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:18pm | ! Report

                Generational transitions are incredibly difficult to handle when you have so many players around the same age. Australia had 6 players – Warne, McGrath, Langer, Hayden, Martyn and Gilchrist – who were always going to retire fairly close together.

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 9:26pm
                ChrisUK said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:26pm | ! Report

                Yes, exactly. That’s why I have some sympathy. I’m not sure how you manage that – booting a great player into premature retirement would be very brave.

            • October 3rd 2013 @ 12:20am
              James said | October 3rd 2013 @ 12:20am | ! Report

              hence why i said fired or told when they would be leaving. they needed to say, you have a year you have a half a year etc it took 6 years for everyone from that team to leave. it needed to have been done quicker. it was not handled well.

              • October 3rd 2013 @ 12:21am
                James said | October 3rd 2013 @ 12:21am | ! Report

                and lots of football teams in england and europe manage it quite well year in year out. CA guys must have met sir alex at some functions for team of the year awards, speak to him or a few other european football managers who do it a few times.

              • Columnist

                October 3rd 2013 @ 12:50pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | October 3rd 2013 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

                James I think spanning out bulk retirements like that is the way to go. If everyone leaves in a short space of time the team is left to flounder with half of the players rookies trying to find their way. Phasing older players out gradually is a better idea.

    • October 2nd 2013 @ 9:27am
      AGB said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:27am | ! Report

      I think your taking the “dour” comment out of context. That assesment was made when England deliberately and cynical slowed the over rate to an unacceptable level. There is a major difference in not meeting your over rate and halving it! England slowed the over rate even when bowling spinners to attempt to prevent an Australian win with the Weather closing in. Gamesmanship and smart tactics maybe; the umpires should have stepped in and Cook should have been reported.

      scoreboard 3-0, Test cricket the loser

      • October 2nd 2013 @ 10:27am
        ChrisUK said | October 2nd 2013 @ 10:27am | ! Report

        What, you mean in the way that Australia slowed the over rate to a crawl at the end of the fifth day of the final Test for example, just to prevent England winning as the light faded? Starc’s over took more than ten minutes to bowl at the end. An over rate of 5 per hour!

        You have a very selective memory. Australia did it when they needed to, just like England did. So presumably you think the umpires should have stepped in and Clarke reported?

        I wouldn’t defend what England did to slow the over rate down, but I damn well wouldn’t be so hypocritical as to criticise Australia for doing something England did too.

        • Columnist

          October 2nd 2013 @ 12:24pm
          Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

          AGB I read the run rates criticism as being an addition to the dour comment rather than the sole reason for it. I think he was also having a crack at the safety-first way England play.

          • October 2nd 2013 @ 1:54pm
            Disco said | October 2nd 2013 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

            As opposed to the naive, gung-ho way Australia played under Lehmann’s watch.

    • October 2nd 2013 @ 9:50am
      Coops said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:50am | ! Report

      The old adage ” Let your actions do the talking” comes to mind.

      • October 2nd 2013 @ 10:01am
        John said | October 2nd 2013 @ 10:01am | ! Report

        Also “Empty vessels make most sound “

        • Columnist

          October 2nd 2013 @ 12:25pm
          Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

          I like the first one more than the second

    • October 2nd 2013 @ 9:52am
      humm said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:52am | ! Report

      Agree Ronan and Christo – replacing a non-international first class standard player in Arthur with another sub-international standard player in Lehmann was an unwise move from CA in my opinion. A lot of these guys who never quite made it as players seem to bring an exceptional amount of personal baggage to these utterly non-essential coaching jobs. Seriously, I don’t think they know what a coach should do, what he’s capable of bringing to a team and CA should realise a coach should only be there to take pressure off the captain in press conferences. The coach should be the best public speaker, have a mature wit and intelligent insight into the game and deflect negative criticism away from the players. But Lehmann and CA seem to think the job is like an under 12’s coach – leading fielding drills and net sessions and picking the side. I really don’t see the value of these old former first class standard cricketers leading training sessions. I think the players are more than capable of doing their own training. Therefore, the coach should be carefully chosen for his ability to communicate well with media and management. Lehmann ticks no box in terms of communication skills or ambassadorial presence. We need a face of leadership who can entertain and educate both the media and the public – an articulate figure whose nickname is not Boof and who doesn’t have a past record of upsetting foreign teams – we go on and on about about punishing young sports stars like James O’Connor but JOC didn’t racially abuse the opposition during a match. Why do we forget so quickly? Lehmann would have lost his job in any other workplace for that racist outburst against Sri Lanka at Perth – how has he done his time only to be rewarded with greater power ten years later? What other organisation would appoint a bloke with that incident on his record? It boggles belief and Lehmann is still blabbering so it seems like a ticking time bomb waiting to embarrass us all once again. Let’s just hope he loses it against the Poms and does not offend or insult our Asian opponents in the future like he did once before.

      • Columnist

        October 2nd 2013 @ 12:28pm
        Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

        humm you’re putting words in my mouth there….I didn’t say anything about Lehmann being a bad selection as coach.

        Certainly the team’s performance has improved significantly since he came on board in comparison to the disastrous India tour. Whether that is due to him is yet to be seen.

        • October 2nd 2013 @ 12:59pm
          Manoj said | October 2nd 2013 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

          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 in the coming home series. He is certainly a better coach then Arthur under whom we had serious divisions in the team and who had certain players in there based on his favorites.

          • Columnist

            October 2nd 2013 @ 1:18pm
            Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

            I hope you’re proved right Manoj.

            • October 2nd 2013 @ 2:58pm
              Praveen said | October 2nd 2013 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

              Ronan I think Manoj will be proven right,not only is boof going to get the best out of our young leftie such as Warner, khawaja and Hughes he is also getting Watson to play well which we need

              • Columnist

                October 2nd 2013 @ 3:05pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

                It’s too early to tell but I’m still optimistic about what Lehmann can do about our on-field fortunes.

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 6:04pm
                Praveen said | October 2nd 2013 @ 6:04pm | ! Report

                I agree Ronan, in boof we place ourT trust

        • October 2nd 2013 @ 8:32pm
          ChrisUK said | October 2nd 2013 @ 8:32pm | ! Report

          Question for you Ronan – what if something similar to what happened in England plays out in Australia? Say (for argument’s sake) another 3-0 where Australia are competitive? At what point do results overtake perceived improvements in your view?

          • Columnist

            October 2nd 2013 @ 9:05pm
            Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:05pm | ! Report

            Well that would clearly not be an improvement…that would suggest we have remained static and unable to capitalise on ascendant positions. I was commenting specifically on the fact we went from being utterly uncompetitive against India months earlier to actually playing some good cricket and competing against England with a far greater spread of contributors.

            • October 2nd 2013 @ 9:10pm
              ChrisUK said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

              India’s a horribly difficult place to play with an inexperienced batting line up. I wasn’t that surprised by the outcome of that series at this stage in Australia’s development. I’d write it off to be honest. All those players (if they played) will be better next time they go there.

              • Columnist

                October 2nd 2013 @ 9:15pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:15pm | ! Report

                But it wasn’t the scoreline was was so concerning it was the dispirited way in which they went about their cricket. There was a sense that if Clarke didn’t make runs the team would fold for 200 or less. In England we saw other guys starting to step up which is very encouraging.

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 9:18pm
                ChrisUK said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:18pm | ! Report

                Tours from hell go that way I suppose. Once it starts to slide, there’s no arresting it.

                I suspect that India tour (with or without Lehmann at the helm) was Australia bottoming out.

              • Columnist

                October 2nd 2013 @ 9:19pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:19pm | ! Report

                I think so because they pretty much could not perform worse if they tried.

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 9:30pm
                ChrisUK said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:30pm | ! Report

                There were still some positive signs though. Pie chucker πŸ˜‰ bowled really well on such unresponsive pitches. That’s very promising for the future. Lyon showed a fair bit of talent. Steve Smith did well – and has continued to improve. Reckon you’ve found one there you know.

              • Columnist

                October 2nd 2013 @ 9:35pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:35pm | ! Report

                The thing that impresses me so much about Smith is the determination he has shown to reinvent himself. He was ridiculed by all and sundry after the last Ashes down under and sported a technique which was not suited to Test cricket. He made some relatively subtle changes, rather than a complete overhaul, maximised his strengths and came back a much better player.

                Unfortunately we’ve seen too many players do the opposite…make impressive starts, fall apart and actually become a worse player.

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 9:40pm
                ChrisUK said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:40pm | ! Report

                I can’t remember who it was – it was a coach from somewhere. Anyway, he talked about what’s needed for Test cricket, and he said that if you’ve been selected, you’re already good enough technically to play at that level, and the flaws only get highlighted when you fail, but they aren’t the reason you fail. He went on to talk about how all the really successful Test batsmen also have glaring technical problems, but that the reason they don’t suffer with them is because of their mental approach and strength. I’d love to be able to find the interview.

                Anyway, with Smith he seems to have that undefinable “it” that you need to be successful. His technique isn’t that pure, but hell – who’d coach anyone to bat like Shiv Chanderpaul? He’s already got that kind of “how are we going to get him out” aura once he’s in. Really impressive if he can carry on in the same vein.

              • Columnist

                October 2nd 2013 @ 10:38pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 10:38pm | ! Report

                He also has leadership qualities which is pretty rare among guys his age.

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 10:45pm
                ChrisUK said | October 2nd 2013 @ 10:45pm | ! Report

                Does he? Are you thinking future captain material?

              • Columnist

                October 2nd 2013 @ 11:40pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 11:40pm | ! Report

                The mail is that he is viewed as such and that’s why they’ve been giving him leadership roles with Aus A.

              • October 3rd 2013 @ 8:52am
                Bearfax said | October 3rd 2013 @ 8:52am | ! Report

                Difference between Smith and the other rising batsmen, is that he walks onto the field and you sense he believes in himself, he doesnt look intimidated. Hughes and Khawaja at present look intimidated and Warner still lacks the ongoing discipline. Hughes and Khawaja are as talented as Smith with the bat, but they’ve got to stand their ground and not allow the bowlers to think they can get their wickets easily. Warner, has shown he can be very disciplined, but then he lapses back into unnecessary shots that get him out. All four have got what’s needed but only Smith seems to be finally blossoming. Hopefully wont be too long before the other three follow his attitude.

              • October 3rd 2013 @ 12:28pm
                Praveen said | October 3rd 2013 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

                I have web very impressed with smith as well and hopefully he fires on our fAster pitches which haven’t been his strength in the past, I think he will. Khawaja can also do very well as he plays pace well but we need to give him a full series

              • Columnist

                October 3rd 2013 @ 12:51pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | October 3rd 2013 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

                Yeah Smith seems to enjoy a scrap.

      • October 2nd 2013 @ 1:09pm
        zatoo77 said | October 2nd 2013 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

        There is no relationship with players own career and there ability to coach. John Buchanan had a very modes career and was a good coach. Marsh had significant results winning the 1999 world cup from behind yet further had a modest cricket career.
        Jim Courier the tennis great actually believes that being a good player can be detrimental to being a good coach. Less good players know how to use the skills they have and use their strengths and weaknesses to their advantages.

        • Roar Guru

          October 2nd 2013 @ 1:18pm
          Chris Kettlewell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

          Agreed. Often the really good players, while they work hard, also have some things that come more naturally too them. In contrast you then have players who aren’t as naturally gifted but find ways to work on their game and make it successful. These people tend to make the better coaches compared to the players who just play more naturally, as they’ve had to do a lot more analysis and tuning of their game and can therefore be better at helping others do the same.

        • Columnist

          October 2nd 2013 @ 1:19pm
          Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

          Yeah there have been plenty of great coaches in all sports who were never stars at the top level.

          • October 2nd 2013 @ 9:51pm
            ChrisUK said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:51pm | ! Report

            Without a single evidential fact to back it up, I’d suggest that most of the best coaches in all sports were little more than adequate performers – if that.

            • Columnist

              October 2nd 2013 @ 10:40pm
              Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 10:40pm | ! Report

              It would make sense that if you had to graft at your game a bit it teaches you a lot of lessons not learned by stars who everything came easy for.

              • October 2nd 2013 @ 10:48pm
                ChrisUK said | October 2nd 2013 @ 10:48pm | ! Report

                Exactly my thinking. I guess he doesn’t have to do it, but I could imagine Steve Waugh would have been a great coach for that reason – even though he became a fabulous player.

                Did you see that Paul Collingwood has taken his first steps into coaching? He’s helping out the Scotland team. He might be a fine example of exactly this – because he had to fight and scrap to extract every ounce of pretty limited ability.

              • Columnist

                October 2nd 2013 @ 11:41pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 11:41pm | ! Report

                Yep guys who get the most out of their ability like that pair would logically seem likely to make good coaches.

      • October 2nd 2013 @ 1:56pm
        Disco said | October 2nd 2013 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

        “We need a face of leadership who can entertain and educate both the media and the public – an articulate figure whose nickname is not Boof and who doesn’t have a past record of upsetting foreign teams…”

        Spot on.

      • October 2nd 2013 @ 9:04pm
        Viren said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:04pm | ! Report

        Humm… Boof a substandard international player? Are you serious?

        He did not get to play too many games for his country with players like the Waughs, Martyn, et al around. But I reckon he would have walked into any other international team of the time.

      • October 2nd 2013 @ 9:05pm
        fadida said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:05pm | ! Report

        Lehman was international standard humm.

        And you don’t need to have been a horse to be a jockey

        • Columnist

          October 2nd 2013 @ 9:16pm
          Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 9:16pm | ! Report

          Yeah Lehmann would be an absolute star in the Aussie side were he playing now.

          • October 3rd 2013 @ 11:38pm
            Praveen said | October 3rd 2013 @ 11:38pm | ! Report

            Agreed, boof was a fantastic batsman and especially good against spin

    • October 2nd 2013 @ 10:01am
      Jay said | October 2nd 2013 @ 10:01am | ! Report

      Yes, Boof should stop boofing.

      It is “dour” when the other guys do it, “determined” when you do it. Can you even pronounce “dour”, Boof, you should stick with basic Strine which you are most comfortable with.

      • Columnist

        October 2nd 2013 @ 12:30pm
        Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

        I agree on the dour and determined comparison.

    • Roar Guru

      October 2nd 2013 @ 10:07am
      SportsFanGC said | October 2nd 2013 @ 10:07am | ! Report

      Ronan – Shooting off at the lip when in a period that has little to no success to me shows desperation. The Poms at the moment know how to win Test matches, the Aussies do not.

      Whether we agree with the way that the Poms are doing it is beside the point, a win is a win and they are racking them up. They have won 3 Ashes series on the trot and I don’t doubt their ability to win a 4th here in Aus.

      Lehmann needs to pipe down about the opposition, specifically England in this case, and focus on what the Aussies can do to prevent a series loss at home. At the moment we seem to have one batsman that has the ability to score any runs consistently – Clarke, and a bunch of other guys being rotated through the squad and being rotated through the batting order. This is not going to win you a test match.

      Our bowlers have been pretty reasonable but the constant injury affecting this area of the team is certainly a concern.

      Getting the balance of the squad right with form players will be the key this summer, unfortunately in recent times the Aussie selectors have shown this to be an impossible task…

      • Columnist

        October 2nd 2013 @ 12:33pm
        Ronan O'Connell said | October 2nd 2013 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

        Your second sentence sums up the situation perfectly SportsFanMelb.

    , , , ,