Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Australia head coach Darren Lehmann has challenged New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum to mirror what he did against England when the Blackcaps take on the Baggy Greens in Auckland on February 28.
McCullum broke the record for the fastest World Cup half-century during his knock of 77 off 25 balls, which included eight boundaries and seven sixes.
“He does hit them a long way, doesn’t he?” Lehmann told Adelaide radio station 5AA on Friday. “He took the game on and he certainly does that, he plays a high-risk game, but there’s a bit of a difference between 135kph and 145 to 150kph coming at him. It’ll be a great challenge for both sides, he’s going to certainly come at us and we’ve got some plans for him.
“It’s going to be exciting – New Zealand have been very impressive. It’s going to be interesting to see how they play against us, I’m sure they’ll be really aggressive, so it’s going to be a cracker game.”
Since their match against Bangladesh was abandoned due to the effects of tropical cyclone Marcia, Lehmann is looking to set up a practice match before his side take on New Zealand.
“We’ll probably have to,” he said. “We’ll get to New Zealand on Sunday regardless of what happens here, then try to replicate something like match conditions early in the week, which will give us an extra couple of sessions leading into a game.
“Obviously they’re playing really well, blew England away and they’re a pretty good side. We’re good to go for the [Brisbane] game, but if it rains again tomorrow and then we get to New Zealand it is a few days without outdoor competitive cricket, so we’ll have to change it around.”
When asked about England’s World Cup campaign, Lehmann noted that captain Eoin Morgan and the rest of his team-mates are in need of a major boost in confidence.
“England looked like they were lacking a bit of confidence, they won the toss and really didn’t try to take the game on,” Lehmann said. “I don’t think they are that bad. I just think they’re not backing themselves or having any confidence in themselves to play the game, and that can happen in any format of any sport. Sometimes you’ve just got to have a crack and take the game on and I probably think they’re not doing that.”