Lehmann: 'Playing spinners will be key'

Ahead of Australia's warm-up fixture against India A in Mumbai on Thursday, coach Darren Lehmann spoke about his team's challenges, its preparation, the pitches and conditions among other things.

Darren Lehmann speaks to the media ahead of Australia's three-day warm-up fixture.   -  AFP

Australia's coach Darren Lehmann, on Tuesday, admitted that Steve Smith has played a lot of Indian Premier League matches and that they have seen the Indian pitches and conditions a lot in the previous few years.

"So, the advantage of having (Sridharan) Sriram and Monty (Panesar) is just to guide our batters and bowlers how to bowl here and how to face the Indian spinners. We know that is going to be the key in this series; mainly how we play the spinners. But India has got some quality fast bowlers. So we have to play well all round. We know they have a good attack, that's why they are undefeated 17 Tests at home. We know they're a quality side and they play well,’’ said Lehmann.

Excerpts:

Challenge as coach: It's a challenge for the whole group. For us as a side, the support staff and players, we've all got a common goal of playing well here. We're not focussing too much on results. We just want to play as well as we can. Starting well in the first Test in Pune is going to be the key, and starting here with the tour game here as well. So the preparations have been good, I'm really happy. Then it's just a case of going out and playing well. It's an exciting tour, it's a great place to tour, great people, great fans. So it's a great challenge for the side. As a coach, the whole group is excited by the challenge ahead.

Pitch and team for warm-up: It looks a good wicket, it always is a pretty wicket here. So looking forward to the challenge of going out and getting our side as best prepared for the Test match. Whether we play the test XI or not, we'll take a call. We'll look at how the fast bowlers have caught up from Dubai, and we'll work out what we do. It’s a proper first class game.

Great fast bowlers in 2004/05 and now more spinners now: In 2004 we had a world class bowler in Shane Warne as well. We could actually play with one spinner then, he could bowl one end all day. In this day and age, we've got to work out what our best attack is to get 20 wickets. Whether it's an all-rounder and two spinners or an extra spinning all-rounder, we'll wait and see what wicket we get in Pune. We could end up playing three quicks anyway with Jackson Bird. So it really just gives us some options. They're all young kids and they're all going to learn. Nathan Lyon is our premier spinner, and we expect him to bowl very well for us.

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