Home > Features >

Darren Lehmann steps in with aim to revive Australian cricket

Darren Lehmann steps in with aim to revive Australian cricket

Darren Lehmann (right) can build a good partnership with Michael Clarke with whom he has shared the dressing room as a player © Getty Images

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

With the Ashes in the horizon, Australian cricket is at crossroads. An avalanche of controversies has hit them in recent months starting from the ‘homework-gate’ in India to David Warner’s drunken escapades. That when coupled with their poor performances on the field paint a bleak picture for their future. Mickey Arthur has borne the brunt of all this as he has been sacked even as his team gears up for a stern test against their traditional rivals.

In the last few months, there has been a drastic dip in Australia’s form. While they may not have matched their typical high standards in recent years, the preceding months have been rocky to say the least. First, they lost the Test series in India 4-0 and then failed to win a game at the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. This comes from a side that dominated all formats until about five years ago. Clearly something had to be done and Arthur is the sacrificial lamb.

What has been worrying is the apparent absence of the typical “Aussie spirit’’. The ‘homework-gate’ may have been laughable to the outsider, but Michael Clarke and the team management were trying to build a unit. That team spirit required all members to submit their views and failure to do so was indicative of a carefree attitude. Suspending a few players in the middle of a Test series may have been hara-kiri considering the situation they were in, but a strong message had to be sent.

Then came Warner’s tirade of angry tweets directed at a journalist. If that wasn’t enough, he was suspended from the team for an altercation with an England player in a bar. The ethics and the professionalism that Australian cricket stood for has been breached in these instances. It all seems tumultuous because of their poor form, but history would suggest that they have penalised their players even when the team was at its peak. A player of the stature of Ricky Ponting had a few run-ins before he mellowed down and led them to greater heights.

In these trying and testing times, the importance of discipline magnifies. Perhaps, they needed someone who has been a part of the system and has seen the good old glory days. Darren Lehmann seems to be the right man to take Australia forward through these troubled waters. Arthur may have had his moments, but Australia need someone who has seen it all as a player and coach. Having served Australia as a player for numerous years and been on the coaching scene for some time, Lehmann has the credentials for the job.

Lehmann can build a good partnership with Clarke — with whom he has shared the dressing room as a player. Clarke had in fact burst on to the scene when Lehmann was nearing his final days in international cricket. They have been a part of that unforgiving and ruthlessly successful Australian outfit and can instil the same values in the young side at their disposal.

The timing of this decision has certainly surprised everyone as the Ashes are only a fortnight away. However, Lehmann is a no-nonsense guy and takes his role very seriously. He has coached at the Indian Premier League (IPL) and has rarely been in the limelight. Like Gary Kirsten, he seems to prefer the backroom role and quietly goes about his job. His first agenda would be to lift the morale of this side and it might be the weakest Australian team to land on English shores in recent times.

The picture isn’t all too gloomy as Australia have some copious potential in their ranks. It is only that they need to channelize that and get their act together. A revival is what they are aiming for post the Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey era. They had been through a similar struggle in the 1980s until Allan Border revived their fortunes. It is time for Clarke to do the same and Lehmann may be a good guide in that regard.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

India vs West Indies 4th ODI at Dharamsala

Videos

AB de Villiers speaks ahead of New Zealand ODIs

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Yasir Shah: The new spinning sensation for Pakistan

Virat Kohli takes wicket with the first (0th?) ball of his T20I career

Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography — a litany of complaints with a few redeeming patches

Banning West Indian players in IPL can affect the ‘Brand value’ of the event – Will BCCI take this gamble?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Salaam Cricket South Africa West Indies West Indies cancel India tour 2014 West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Eden Gardens may host fourth ODI

WICB president Dave Cameron reportedly grilled by other executive members

Duleep Trophy 2014 Semifinal, East Zone vs South Zone: Laxmi Ratan Shukla feels Lahli pitch will suit East Zone pacers

Harbhajan Singh to miss Duleep semi-final against Central Zone,Gautam Gambhir to captain North Zone

Duleep Trophy semi-final: Upbeat East Zone take on South Zone

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Quinton de Kock equals wicketkeeping record with six catches in South Africa vs New Zealand 1st ODI

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: MS Dhoni gets much-needed break ahead of Australia tour

Virat Kohli becomes fastest to 20 ODI hundreds

Fan of the Day

Gautam Singh

Gautam Singh

474 Posts | 5 Fans

Video Highlights Mohammed Yousuf drops catch after watching a girl in bikini

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here