Ashes 2017: Australia's Darren Lehmann urges cricketing fraternity to support Steve Smith and Co in face of selection controversy

Australia coach Darren Lehmann defended the squad selection for the Ashes opener on Sunday and urged former players to back the team as they prepare to try and wrest the famous urn back from English hands.

Reuters, Nov 19, 2017 14:03:27 IST

Sydney: Australia coach Darren Lehmann defended the squad selection for the Ashes opener on Sunday and urged former players to back the team as they prepare to try and wrest the famous urn back from English hands.

Spin-bowling great Shane Warne was among the former players who questioned decision to include wicket-keeper Tim Paine, while the inclusion of veteran batsman Shaun Marsh also raised a few eyebrows.

Speaking in Brisbane, where the series gets underway at the Gabba on Thursday, Lehmann justified the selections and called for the whole country to support the team.

File image of Australia head  coach Darren Lehmann. Reuters

Darren Lehmann added that Shaun Marsh, who earned his eighth Test recall, will do well in the Ashes. Reuters

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, aren’t they?” he said.

“I’d just like all our players, ex-players, to be really positive about the Australian cricket team. Let’s just get everyone from Australia behind the Australian cricket team and let’s get moving forward.”

Paine, who played the last of his four Tests seven years ago, was the most controversial selection mainly because he does not even keep wickets for his state Tasmania.

”We’ve watched him keep a fair bit,“ Lehmann added. ”He’s a high quality keeper.

“He’s been in good form with the gloves, as he always has been, and he has been very good for us in the T20s.”

Few players are more divisive in Australia than 34-year-old Marsh, who looks likely to fill the number six slot in the batting order on his eighth recall to the Test side.

”He’s in good form, so he’ll do well,“ Lehmann added. ”He’s pretty calm.

“He’s grown up a lot in the last few years and played some important knocks for us. He’s really confident within himself.”

Lehmann said also said Australia would not be distracted by reports from England that suspended all-rounder Ben Stokes could be cleared to play a part in the series by police this week.

Vice-captain Stokes has been suspended since being arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm outside a Bristol nightclub in September.

A report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph said that police would make a decision over whether to charge Stokes this week, potentially leaving him clear to join the England squad before the second Test in Adelaide.

“We can’t worry about it at the moment,” Lehmann said. “For us it’s more of a case of dealing with the squad they’ve got here.”

Updated Date: Nov 19, 2017 14:03:27 IST


World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
Australia 6 5 1 0 10
New Zealand 5 4 0 1 9
England 5 4 1 0 8
India 4 3 0 1 7
Bangladesh 6 2 3 1 5
Sri Lanka 5 1 2 2 4
West Indies 5 1 3 1 3
South Africa 6 1 4 1 3
Pakistan 5 1 3 1 3
Afghanistan 5 0 5 0 0





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
6 Pakistan 4107 93
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254