Australian captain Steve Smith chats with coach Darren Lehmann during an Australian team training session.
Australian captain Steve Smith chats with coach Darren Lehmann during an Australian team training session. DAVE HUNT

Lehmann: 'I've never seen a side so hurt'

CRICKET: Darren Lehmann has challenged Cricket Australia's high-performance manager Pat Howard over claims the current crisis offered the coach a chance to "reinvent” himself.

After Australia was skittled for 85 and 161 to lose the second Test by an innings and 80 runs in Hobart, Howard agreed that it was appropriate for himself and Lehmann to be under pressure.

"This is a great challenge for his coaching, I think he's in uncharted territory for him as well and we've talked about that. This is a great chance for him to reinvent,” Howard said in Hobart during the second Test.

Lehmann said he challenged Howard on his comments.

"That's the first thing I asked - what do you mean by that?” he said.

"It's about challenging myself to become a better coach.

"You're always learning as a coach. I'm still learning. I'm only a young coach. I'm always learning along the way and trying to get better by making mistakes.

"You don't want to make too many obviously, but you've got to get better.”

He added that Howard was "my boss and we need to get results”.

Lehmann, who was part of the selection panel that made wholesale changes after South Africa claimed an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, suggested it was important he and fellow coaches instil confidence and positivity in the new-look squad.

"I've never seen a side so hurt after Hobart, an Australian side. We've got to pick them up, get them positive,” he said.

Batsmen Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson and Matt Renshaw, who will all make their Test debuts this week, were given a crash course in baggy-green culture at a dinner on Monday night.

Lehmann admitted it was a "tough” selection discussion that ended up with Handscomb, Maddinson, Renshaw, Matthew Wade, Jackson Bird and Chadd Sayers being summoned to Adelaide.

"We've (also) got to stop the rot now,” he said.

Asked whether it had been premature to extend Lehmann's deal for a further two years, Howard said: "Not at the time it wasn't.”

Howard also said selectors Mark Waugh and Trevor Hohns could follow the panel's chairman Rod Marsh out the door after a tumultuous start to the home summer.


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