Ashes: Australia coach Darren Lehmann expects close series with England
Darren Lehmann believes his Australia team can match England and is anticipating a close series this winter.
By Sam Drury - Follow on Twitter
Last Updated: 16/10/13 4:32pm
Despite a 3-0 series defeat this summer, Lehmann feels that his side gave a good account of themselves, especially in the last three Test matches.
With more time to work with his players and in front of a home crowd, the former Australia batsman is hopeful of a different outcome this time around, in what is the second instalment of back-to-back Ashes series.
"We really want to make sure we get the right team out in front of the Australian public and against the English for the first Test match," Lehmann told Sky Sports.
"I'm looking forward to the Ashes and some good results."
Having taken over as Australia coach from Mickey Arthur just two weeks before the first Test match of the summer, Lehmann saw his side slip to 2-0 down after the opening two Test matches before he had even had a chance to get to know his players.
However, the performances in the final three Tests gave him plenty of encouragement.
"(I learnt) that we're not far off," he said. "That was the real positive sign for me. I suppose winning key moments, that's what England did better than us to be perfectly honest.
"Learning from that and learning about the England team, what makes them tick and how they perform, know their players back to front as they know ours."
Ultimately, Lehmann felt that the 3-0 scoreline somewhat flattered England but he won't be allowing his players to feel sorry for themselves going into this winter's first Test.
"At the end of the day that's what it ended up being, 3-0," Lehmann commented. "So we've still got a lot of work to do as a side, to grow and play the brand of cricket that's going to be successful and we know it's going to be tough.
"I think it'll be as competitive as it was in England. I mean everyone's talking about it from the end of the Oval Test match to now.
"It was an amazing series. Although it was 3-0 there was lots of highs and lows for both sides. From our point of view, it's going to be a really close series, and it'll be great for the public to get straight back into it, to be perfectly honest."
As for the remarks he made about England playing 'dour' cricket, the Australia coach stood by them but admitted he'd be happy to see the Baggy Greens play the same way if it resulted in a 3-0 series win.
"Yeah but I'm happy to play dour cricket and win 3-0 as well and I think I said that in the interview," added Lehmann. "They played the basics very well and we've got to get better at those."
The indication is that Lehmann will not want his team playing in what he would consider a dour manner and that players will be given longer runs in the side in which to prove themselves.
"It'll be a change in philosophy a little bit, I suppose," he added. "You won't see as much chopping and changing as you saw in England and that's the confidence we'll give the players."
Overall though, Lehmann doesn't expect too many changes to the personnel on either side when they meet again in Brisbane for the First Test on November 21.
"Both sides will play similar line-ups I would think," he said. "But at the end of the day performances and coping with it under pressure is going to count for the players on both sides."