MELBOURNE – Australia coach Darren Lehmann has spoken of the need for his Australia side to revamp their approach in One-Day Internationals if they are to compete at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
With the tournament taking place in England, Lehmann predicted a high-scoring World Cup and admitted that his team would need to be a lot more aggressive in the batting department.
“You've got to be more aggressive in England because of the wickets, but then it can be overcast and swing, so you've got to have both ways covered for England as we've seen,” he said. “You can play a certain way but you've got to be able to change, depending on what the pitch is and the conditions above."
Lehmann also advocated for a more settled squad, and with Australia’s next ODI assignment set in England in the middle of the year, they have the perfect opportunity to nail down the squad likely to play in the tournament in a year’s time. He said: “We haven't been able to have a settled one-day side. I'd like to see us play with a settled side over six months and see what the result is then, see how we play.”
Australia won the Ashes 4-0 but were then soundly beaten 4-1 by England in the ODIs that followed. Lehmann believed that was partly down to mental fatigue after a long Test series, along with the rotation of personnel who needed the rest.
"They were pretty tired by the end of it," he said of the Test players who also played the ODIs against England.
"We certainly didn't win the crunch moments in that one-day series. We had opportunities in every game and in the past we've scored those extra 30-40 runs and taken earlier wickets. We didn't do that. Guys were a little bit tired and down, I suppose, excited by the result of the Ashes, but didn't perform as well as we'd like in the one-day format. So, that's another area we've got to look at and how we go about it.
"We'll sit down at the end of the South African series [to review], but we've always got to look forward. World Cup's coming along pretty quickly – I think there's about 22 games to go before we play our first game.
“So we'll have to settle on a group of players. We think we've got a really good group. It's just where we fit in, how we look, the style of play. We know what England's going to produce in terms of pitches – they're going to be pretty good. So it's going to be a pretty high-scoring World Cup, and we'll have to look at that."
The benefits of having fresh faces in the squad were evident in Australia’s performances in the triangular Twenty20 International series – Australia have, so far, seen off both England and New Zealand, winning all their three matches to seal a place in the final.
To that end, David Warner, the team’s stand-in captain, has been given a mini-breather from the squad. He will spend time at home before returning to the set-up a day before Australia’s clash against New Zealand on 16 February.
African News Agency