Australia coach Darren Lehmann on Tuesday acknowledged that England are favourites for the Ashes 2013, but said his side will be up for the challenge and the encounter will be an ‘exciting series’.
Lehmann was quoted as saying by The Sun: “It is right England are favourites. They have had good 12 months. They are well led and well coached. The advantage I have is I am a fresh face and can change a few ideas.
“I suppose we want people to love watching us play after they come through the gates. It is going to be an exciting series full stop. My appointment might be seen as an aggressive one and we are going to play an aggressive brand of cricket — there is no doubt about that,” he said.
“My job is to make the players better — simple as that. And then they will go and do it out on the ground. These are exciting times,” Lehmann said.
The 43-year-old said he was flattered with the response he received after being appointed as the head coach of Australia, but thinks that there is lot of work to be done.
“It’s flattering but only results will tell so we have got to make sure we’re ready to play the first Test and play it well,” he expressed.
“It has been a really eventful few days. It has started to slow down now I am in the role and I know what I am doing and where we are heading. That first 12-24 hours was quite critical for changing the way we do things and how I perceived the way we wanted to play and the ideas I have,” Lehmann said.
“It was quite easy because the players have been great so it has been an easy transition,” he added.
The Australian coach, amid preparing his side for the highly anticipated series, is also engrossed in a battle with his English counterpart Andy Flower over text messages, but hasn’t been able to give a strong reply.
“It will be a great battle. I obviously played with Andy at South Australia, and we know each other well. There will be some banter back and forth — there already has been. I loved him as a player, he’s a great man,” Lehmann revealed.
“The banter has already started. He is winning at the moment — but I’ve had a bit on. I’ll get back at him,” he said.
Talking about David Warner, who was banned by Cricket Australia over disciplinary issues, Lehmann said the explosive batsman will be ready if given a chance.
“David can bat anywhere. He’s one of these guys who is very talented. And he’s done everything right in the nets. So from my point of view, he’s impressed me. The slate’s pretty clean with him. We can’t use him in this game against Worcestershire, so he’s had to impress more in the nets, which he’s doing,” Lehmann said.