I still have a lot to learn, admits Darren Lehmann

Image courtesy of: The Telegraph

“It was a good learning curve for a new coach”

Fresh off a 3-0 thrashing in the first leg of the Ashes series, Australia coach Darren Lehmann has admitted that he still has a lot to learn about being the head coach of a national team.

Lehmann replaced Mickey Arthur as Australia’s head coach just two weeks prior to the start of the Ashes and despite not leading Australia to any victories throughout the historic series, he did steal the headlines with his brazen verbal attack on England pace bowler Stuart Broad.

“It was a good learning curve for a new coach, wasn’t it?” Lehmann said. “You know, a jovial setting but you’ve got to learn from that. I’ve got to learn and improve from that. The players aren’t on their own in trying to improve. Coaches have got to improve so that’s something I’ve got to get better at. I’ve had a chat with him (Broad) already. We just move on.

“I’m still loving it, it’s a great job. I’d like to win a Test match though, but it’s a fantastic job. Now I’ve seen all the players here, and the one-day and Twenty20 players are obviously [arriving] Thursday, so you get to deal with them and look at how we’re going in that format of the game as well. By the end of the tour I’ll have a really good mindset on all the players, which will be quite comforting for me as coach.”

Lehmann also praised captain Michael Clarke’s bravery in the final Ashes Test at The Oval as he decided to declare on 111/6 in the second innings, which left England just 227 runs to win the match and secure a 4-0 series win.

Clarke’s declaration saw Australia begging the umpires to use their light metres and end play when England only needed 21 more runs to win the match, which ultimately earned them a round of boos from the crowd.

“Look, I can’t control the crowd,” Lehmann said. “They’ve been pretty good all series. We’ve kept them quiet most of the time, even though we are 3-0 down, so it shows how close it probably is.

“In regards to that you can’t do anything about that. What I do know is that game was set up totally by the Australian cricket team and I think the crowd probably enjoyed that more than the other days so far. That’s the brand of cricket we want to play. We want to push the boundaries.

“We were quite happy to lose a game to set up the game. English fans have been great all summer, but to come out and see that on the last day, I think it was outstanding from Michael and the set-up what we tried to do. We want to keep challenging our players in those situations to get better, learn from the mistakes we make. We’re going to make mistakes, we understand that. But we’ve got to improve from there. If we do that, then we can challenge.”

Lehmann also revealed that he was impressed with the work ethics of all the players and hinted that there would be changes when England travel to the Land Down Under in November for the second leg of the Ashes series.

“It’s great learning about the players how they are,” Lehmann added. “I’m very impressed with their work ethic on and off the ground, how they go about it.

“I think there’s a lot of improvement in our setup, which is exciting for me. Would I change too much? Really hard when you’ve just come into the setup and the touring side’s been picked. When we’re back home you’ll probably see different things happen, but in terms of hearing a lot of things from outside and not being in that circle for many years, to come in and see how they’re trying to improve all the time was impressive for me. Now it’s just a matter of improving that skill level for us to compete better than we have.”

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