Darren Lehmann: Adelaide pitch will be fastest
Australia coach says England batsmen will have to conquer speedy short balls in second Test
Australia coach Darren Lehmann yesterday said the Adelaide Oval, which will host the second Ashes Test against England, would be the fastest pitch in the country under lights. "It's a fascinating Test match, there's a lot of talk about it'll seam and it'll swing," Lehmann said as the teams travelled to Adelaide. "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," Lehmann was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo. Stressing that the Aussies will attack England's middle and lower order, Lehmann also pointed out that short deliveries will work to the hosts' advantage as grounds here are bigger than in England.
Australia's Mitchell Starc bowls during the first Test match against England at the Gabba on November 23
'Bowling short is our advantage'
"Bowling short certainly hasn't changed from four years ago. 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," he added. Lehmann, who became the coach in 2013, said they learned a lot about their opponents after the first Test. "We back-ended the first Test really well, but they played really well in the first innings and we learned a lot about them as a side. Nothing we didn't already know but it just confirmed a lot of things along the way," he said.
"[We saw] more of their plans, how they want to tackle us - which was good for us." Lehmann hinted the pacers comprising Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood or Pat Cummins might not be rested for the second rubber as their exertions in the second innings of the first Test were comparatively less owing to England getting skittled out for 195.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann
Searching for an all-rounder
Nevertheless, Lehmann said the Australian selectors were still on the lookout for an all-rounder of quality to ease the load on the rest of the attack while also making substantial middle order runs. He was happy to hear that Mitchell Marsh is soon to resume bowling after shoulder surgery, while Marcus Stoinis is also thought to be in the calculations. "You'd always like one. At the moment some of the all-rounders aren't knocking down the door like they should be. If you look at the past, when we had Shane Warne bowling at one end, you didn't have an all-rounder," Lehmann said. The coach was all praise for spinner Nathan Lyon who returned match figures of 5 for 79. "He kept us in the game on Day One, he was fantastic. He's just grown with confidence and success breeds that," Lehman said.
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