Darren Lehmann will return to Australia to prepare for Ashes    Getty Images
Darren Lehmann will return to Australia to prepare for Ashes Getty Images

Right after a drawn Test series in Bangladesh, Australia will travel to India for a limited-overs series consisting five One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). However, Australia s coach, Darren Lehmann, has opted out of the series. Lehmann had earlier opted out of a similar India series before the 2013 Ashes, which the Australians later won 5-0. In Lehmann s absence, bowling coach David Saker will take over the duties of head coach with Brad Haddin continuing as the fielding coach of the team. Interestingly, Saker himself took a break, opting out of the Bangladesh tour and Ryan Harris had taken over in place of him. READ: Smith unhappy with side’s recent batting collapses in Tests

Earlier, Steven Smith had expressed his disappointments about Australia s batting collapses and Lehmann sounded no different. “It’s happening too often for a young group. The first part of the batting collapses was with an older group if you like, and then we changed it around and we’re still having them. It’s seriously not their preparation or how they go about it. It’s more the mental side of the game. We’re working through that with a young group and trying to come up with some solutions,” Lehmann told ESPNCricinfo.

Talking about Australia s batting combination at home and in subcontinent Lehmann further added, “With No. 6 in Australia it is totally different to Asia. We’ll certainly be looking at that position and anyone can jump out of the pack in the three Shield games and what we think the best make-up is for that first Test. Glenn [Maxwell] is there at the moment, like everyone else, he’ll have to perform.”

He also expects Usman Khawaja opening for Australia during Ashes.

“I would think Usman would play the first Test, although I’m only one of four selectors,” Lehmann said. “Obviously for the make-up of the side we changed it here, but we think he’s a pretty special player and obviously he’s got a really good record in Australia.”

“[Matthew] Wade did a great job behind the sticks this game after the criticism he copped,” Lehmann said. “We obviously want runs from our keeper as well so for him and all the other keepers around the country, the Shield games are going to be important,” he said about the wicketkeeper-batsman, who is already facing a lot of criticism.