Darren Lehmann admits there were mistakes in team selection
Australian coach Darren Lehmann was honest in admitting that the selectors (including himself) made some mistakes in the team selection, following the humiliating defeat in the 4th Test which literally gifted England the Ashes, as reported by ESPNcricinfo.
He was asked how much responsibility himself and the selection committee chairman Rod Marsh should be owning following the loss and the coach remained very calm about it. "A lot," he said. "As a coach and selectors we've got things wrong at certain times, there's no doubt about that. We've got to own up like players have to and everyone else that our performances weren't good enough, full stop. We've got to work on how we're going to move forward.
"For us it's about working out what our best lineup is in different conditions and making sure we've got players who can adapt between spinning wickets and seaming and swinging wickets and making sure they can cover both formats really well. We've got a bit of thinking to do and reviewing what went wrong. So it's about getting batsmen who can bat long periods of time and bowlers who can put pressure on, day in and day out."
He also admitted that the call to drop the all-rounder from the XI shouldn’t have been taken since Australia generally play with 5 players who can bowl. They wanted extra protection in the batting order and hence preferred Shaun Marsh over Mitchell. But the move backfired, as Australia not only were dismissed for just 60 in their first innings, they were also forced to have Starc bowl a gruelling 11 over spell at one point.
"I spoke to Rodney this morning and we wanted the extra batter and spoke to the captain about it in this particular game, but we've always wanted five bowlers, so we probably got that selection wrong," he said. "Happy to admit when we're wrong, you don't get everything right, and that's a good learning curve for us.
"We're really strong on having five bowlers and we didn't do that this game. In the end it didn't matter, we only bowled once and we didn't bat well enough, so that's a learning curve for us. We'll look at all areas where we can improve. That's just what you do after series like this and try and move forward. We've had some really good results, this obviously not being one of them."
He also went on to claim that the team played better in 2013 where they lost the series 3-0. "Fair to say that. I think we played better [in England] in 2013 to be perfectly honest and that's probably answers your question. We certainly didn't cope with the swinging or seaming ball in the last two Test matches well enough and that's something we have to get better at. Our preparation was fine, I can't complain about the work ethic from the lads either. We got out skilled by a very good cricket team in England."
Despite losing the series, Lehmann is looking forward to the final Test and to the future under Steven Smith’s leadership. "For me it'll be how we develop as a side now," Lehmann said. "And the transition of players that's probably going to happen. So for us it's about making sure we pick the right players with the right way we want to go about things. And look they're fantastic, but if you're going to have that transition of older players and new players and that's going to be an exciting challenge not only on me as a coach but also the coaching staff and players adapting to different places.
"I'm actually looking forward to the last Test. I think it's going to be a great last Test match, and very enjoyable for England. But we've got to try to get a result there for us. And then you've got the one-dayers, the one-day guys coming in which will keep us fresh as well. You'll have new players. That does keep you fresh and excited. You're on the road a long time, no doubt about that, but I'm still a cricket nuffy and love watching cricket. Don't like watching 60, though."