Lehmann predicts more short-pitched barrage in Adelaide
BRISBANE (Reuters) – Australia’s fast bowlers will one again pepper England’s middle and lower order batsmen with short-pitched deliveries on a lively track in the day-night second Ashes test in Adelaide, coach Darren Lehmann said on Tuesday.
The Australian pacemen tormented England’s lower order with bouncers on the fourth day in Brisbane to set up the hosts’ 10-wicket win in the series opener.
The barrage was reminiscent of the preceding home series in 2013/14, when the Mitchell Johnson-led pace battery mowed through England’s tail repeatedly to help secure a 5-0 whitewash for the hosts.
“(Bowling short) certainly hasn’t changed from four years ago,” Lehmann told reporters at the Adelaide airport ahead of the second test beginning on Saturday.
”It’s a bit different in Australia than England where grounds are smaller and you can’t really get away with it, on bigger grounds you can. So that’s one for us that we see as an advantage.
“They did it quite a lot to us as well, it’s a ploy a lot of people do now. At the back end when the wicket quickened up and we could go after them a bit harder was helpful. That’s the blueprint, it’s no secret we’re going to attack their middle and lower order like that.”
Mitchell Starc had asked for a bit more pace from the wickets after the Gabba served up a docile surface in the first test and according to Lehmann his wish could get fulfilled with the pink ball at the Adelaide Oval.
“It’s a fascinating test match, there’s a lot of talk about it’ll seam and it’ll swing,” Lehmann said, adding that Australia’s experience of playing day-night tests in the past would come handy.
”The ball stays pretty good, but you can make runs if you play well as per normal. And it does quicken up at night – probably the fastest wicket around Australia at night, so that’s going to be interesting, how it plays.
“You’re more comfortable in your preparation, you know what you have to do to get ready. So the lead-in is a lot more normal for us than other teams having done it twice. This is the third time so we’re pretty comfortable where it sits.”
The 47-year-old Lehmann, who played 27 tests for Australia, lauded off-spinner Nathan Lyon who bagged five wickets in a key contribution towards the hosts’ victory.
“He kept us in the game day one, he was fantastic. He’s just grown with confidence and success breeds that,” Lehmann said.
”For him he’s actually come out of his shell a lot as well, he wants the ball day in, day out, a bit like Warney (former leg-spinner Shane Warne) did when he played.
“He’s not as confident as Warney was, but he’s just really starting to lead and help the bowlers out, which is great.”