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“He reverses the ball, he’s got good control and he has a crack, which we like”
Australia head coach Darren Lehmann has announced that he is considering replacing batsman George Bailey with all-rounder James Faulkner for the second Ashes Test in Adelaide.
Lehmann’s comments come after Bailey was only able to score three and 34 in the first Test in Brisbane, which also happened to be his debut Test match.
“I’m really happy with the 12 we have put together and the 11 did the job in Brisbane and now it’s a case of working out what the best 11 is to get a result here,” Lehmann said. “James brings a real competitive streak, he showed that at The Oval. He has done well to retain his place in the 12 from The Oval and was unlucky to miss out in Brisbane. He reverses the ball, he’s got good control and he has a crack, which we like.
“We might have to come up with a few different plans, and that is just part and parcel of the different wickets you get around the country so that is no different for us, adapting to the different styles and we will have to play a different style this game but still be very aggressive in what we do. In Brisbane obviously it had some pace and bounce in it, Adelaide might be a bit different, but it might reverse a bit more and spin a bit more so we just have to sum that as we go. The key is first innings of both sides, making sure you make some big runs or limit the opposition.”
Lehmann also revealed that all-rounder Shane Watson had nearly recovered from his hamstring injury and will play a larger role with the ball in Adelaide if he is selected.
“We have an advantage with Shane Watson bowling more this Test match, he didn’t have to bowl as much as we thought in the last one, so that is an advantage as well, but Ryan [Harris] is a key player.”
Speaking about Harris, Lehmann noted that he is likely to be included in the squad for the second Test.
“Yes, if he’s fully fit, he’ll play,” Lehmann said. “I have said that all along, we’re not changing our stance on that. If he is fit to play, he will play.
“I reckon he is going to be fit, at the moment they’re all fit, so we’re okay.”
The Australian head coach is also determined to prove that his side’s victory in Brisbane was no fluke.
If Australia were to win in Adelaide, it would give them a 2-0 lead and put them on the verge of regaining the Ashes for the first time in four years.
“It’s just one Test match so we have got to play well, back that up, and show we’re the side we want to become, not just one-hit wonders, if you like,” Lehmann said. “Play a brand of cricket that is strong, competitive each and every day, each and every session, and if we do that, we know we will get the results. But we can’t just rest on our laurels after one Test.
“As always, you enjoy celebrations after a success, and you should do, it’s a tough game, as we know, and it has been a while since we won a Test match so it’s good we have done that, we have achieved that, and now it’s get ready for Adelaide. They will come back really hard, we know England are a good cricket team and we’ll have to be ready to play.”