‘We wanted to try to push England really hard in England, but we wanted to win in Australia’, reveals Mickey Arthur

Image courtesy of: The Telegraph

“We wanted to develop enough intelligence on all the England players”

Former Australia coach Mickey Arthur has revealed that the he and Test captain Michael Clarke had decided to “push England really hard” when playing the Ashes in their backyard, but “wanted to win” when the second leg of the series was played in Australia.

Arthur also noted that while Darren Lehmann’s ideology was simply to “win, win, win”, he had “wanted to develop enough intelligence on all the England players”.

“We had a goal that I will reveal,” Arthur told ABC radio. “We wanted to try to push England really hard in England, but we wanted to win in Australia, this is what Michael and I wanted to do.

“We didn’t go into the series ever to lose it, but we wanted to develop enough intelligence on all the England players, we had a lot but there was going to be some current stuff we could use.

“We were going to really push them close, give the players in our team the confidence to see that England could get beaten, and then go for them in Australia. That was how we wanted to go about our escapade there. You could have put anybody in [the team], the results were going to be the results because that is what we’ve got at the moment. That is the current crop of players. But as coaches it’s such a good challenge because there’s so much unfulfilled potential that you can make better.”

Moving away from the subject of the Ashes and his successor, Arthur also admitted that the 4-0 whitewashing Australia suffered at the hands of India was a bitter pill to swallow.

“India was a really tough tour for us in so many ways,” he said. “I’ve been privileged to tour India a couple of times and those were the worst conditions that I’d ever seen.

“They hijacked us, and they clearly wanted revenge for the 4-0 series win we had got when they toured here the last time.

“One goes back to the Perth Test where the wicket was green and we played to our strengths and won the Test in two and a half days. They clearly wanted retribution for that and produced some of the toughest conditions I’d ever seen. They went out of their way to prepare those conditions and I can’t argue with that.”

Despite all the controversy surrounding his termination, Arthur followed the Ashes very closely, apparently too closely, according to some of his family members.

“I’ve been watching every ball of the Ashes,” he said. “My family has been saying ‘let it go’ and I can’t. I’ve spent too much time with these boys trying to make them better cricketers, I’ve got to watch it.

“I am talking to the television. The funny thing as a coach is with a trained eye and knowing the psyche of all the players, I can sit and watch something developing and know what’s going to happen an over later. I’m going ‘don’t do that again, keep hitting straight, they’re trying to set you up for the lbw … keep hitting straight, oh across the line, damn lbw again’.”

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