Johannesburg: Australia coach Darren Lehmann has predicted that sledging is likely to be part of the mix when the Aussies confront South Africa in a five-match one-day international series.
Skipper Steve Smith had lamented the quiet, virtually shy approach of his Test team during a recent 3-0 series loss in Sri Lanka. And Lehmann said things will be different in ODIs. "Steve hit it right on the head," said Lehmann, after the Australian squad arrived in Johannesburg for a series, which begins at SuperSport Park in Centurion next Friday.
Lehmann said the ODI side differs from the Test team, and is more inclined toward sledging. "The one-day guys are pretty vocal," he assured reporters. "I think we can look forward to a pretty fiery series. One of the great things about these two countries is that they play it really hard on the field, but get along really well off it. I do not think the noise will be an issue for both teams in this series."
Lehmann said he chose a young team, including uncapped bowlers Joe Mennie, Chris Tremain and Daniel Worrall, to give some Test stalwarts a break. "We do turn over players a bit in our one-day set-up because you have got to give the Test players a break somewhere," he said.
New ball pair Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc have been rested ahead of a November Test series at home to South Africa.
"We have chopped and changed teams since winning the World Cup, making sure we give everyone sufficient game time," said the coach. "We are looking ahead to two major tournaments — the Champions Trophy next year and the 2019 World Cup."
Australia will warm up for the South Africa series with a match against Ireland on Tuesday at Willowmoore Park stadium in Benoni on the eastern outskirts of Johannesburg.