A challenge for Lehmann

The focus now will be on the return Ashes series later this year and the Aussies will need to gear up for regaining the urn. The pressure will be on the Aussies as the fans may not take a loss at home sportingly enough.

The final Test of the Ashes concluded under dark clouds and perhaps it was in sync with some of the events during the summer. There was more than a cloud of doubt over the efficacy of the DRS in as much as the sporting spirit was at times. The Aussies did not have the rub of the green alright but it was rather strange for Darren Lehmann to make a provocative statement about Stuart Broad. As one illustrious former great said, he should not be complaining about a batsman’s aversion to walk given that the Aussies were never in favour of that. It is within the laws of the game for a batsman to wait until he is adjudged out and more often than not batsmen tend to take advantage of that privilege. The on-field issues notwithstanding, the Aussies were forced to deal with constant distractions off the field as well. Their former coach Mickey Arthur has been revealing details of what transpired in the dressing room during his tenure. He has not been complimentary to Shane Watson but there is no doubt that Watson is an integral part of the Aussie line-up.

His penchant for thrusting his front foot across the line has made him a lbw victim repeatedly enough, but he overcome that chink by getting a belligerent century in the final Test. He has adopted a wide stance which gives him the stability to play big shots but against bowlers who bowl straight and swing the ball, mobility is the key. The wide stance does not facilitate lithe footwork which has landed him in trouble quite often. However, he has the experience to sort out his game and the recent century may well prove to be the turning point. Watson will leave England with the satisfaction of having silenced his critics but more importantly he needs to get rid of the supposed adverse impression he has made on some of his team-mates. Being a very experienced member of the side, he will be required to guide and inspire the youngsters who are making a bid to step up in the international level.

Apart from Steve Smith, the other young batsmen have not been able to make a significant impact which will be a cause for concern. The athletic youngster has displayed good temperament and it won’t be long before he becomes consistent. It was surprising that Michael Clarke did not make use of him as a leg spinner given the lack of variety in the Aussie attack. With Australia at the crossroads, the other youngsters will be expected to deliver if the team has to regain its past reputation. They would have learnt a lot from this Ashes series and hopefully they will improve sooner rather than later. Lehmann has a lot of work to do but looking at the brighter side of things, the only way is up for the Aussies. Besides, Lehmann has a good record in getting the best out of young players and as such this is a challenge that he will relish.

The focus now will obviously be on the return Ashes series later this year and the Aussies will need to gear up for regaining the urn. The pressure will be on the Aussies as the fans may not take a loss at home sportingly enough. However, the Aussies can take heart from the fact that the difference between the two sides was not much even though they lost the series. But the Aussies need to find solutions at the top of the order and the spinning options. The likes of Rogers, Agar and Lyon have had their moments in the English summer but their performances have been in vain. It remains to be seen how well they respond to the challenges in the future.