Cricket Australia

http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/Blogs/darren-lehmann/2013/8/14/performances-are-paramount

Darren Lehmann


Performances are paramount

14 August 2013 152

At 1-147, chasing 299 to win, we were in a great position to win the fourth Test.

What let us down was some poor decision making from the rest of the batters, and to lose 9-77 is inexcusable. 

We’ve got ourselves in a position in three of the four Test matches to grab the game and win it, so to not take any of those opportunities is highly disappointing from not only a coaching perspective but also a playing perspective. 

We need to rectify that and turn it around in the short time between now and The Oval Test match and the return series in Australia.

I am confident we’re on the right path. 

We constantly talk about learning. In our team debriefs we talk about learning and understanding the game and getting better.

At the moment we understand what we need to do we’re just not putting it into practice.

It might sound all doom and gloom, but there are some positives to take out of Durham. The form of two of our elder statesmen was really encouraging.

I’ve known Ryan Harris since his days at Northern Districts Cricket Club when I was captain. 

It’s been nothing less than fantastic to see him develop into a world-class fast bowler, easily in the top three in the world in my opinion. 

His never say die/never give up attitude for his captain is something all our players need, day in day out. 

Ryan’s passion for whatever team he plays for, whether it be club, state or country is second to none. 

I’m very pleased to see him turn from a scrawny little medium pacer who could bat a bit into a premium fast bowler. 

He also fields like a jet and has a crack with the bat, so the 110% he gives all the time is truly exceptional. 

The pleasing thing for Australia is the time he’s spent on the park recently, giving him the opportunity to show just how good he really is. 

The other is Chris Rogers. 

His hundred was scored in tough, overcast conditions where the ball seamed around, so I was really pleased with the way he toughed it out in both innings and got us off to a good start.

Chris’ composure in the first inning got us a lead, but again we couldn’t capitalise.

We’ve led three out of the four Test matches, which reinforces that we’re on the right path, now we need to put the foot on the throat and go in for the kill which is another thing we need to get better at. 

Moving forward we travel to Northants where we go up against the English Lions who will be pushing their case for international selection, and the same goes for our young blokes.

They’ll be keen to impress the selectors ahead of the final Test at The Oval. 

We stress that performances on the park are paramount, and at the moment we’ve underperformed with the bat. 

While we’ve had the ability to take 20 wickets, we probably should have bowled England out cheaply in a couple of Test matches.

As we say each and every time, if our bowlers take 20 wickets and our batsmen do their job it makes it a lot easier for us, as it should have been at 1-147.

Now the moment you’ve been waiting for: the holders of the gold and pink jackets.

The gold Man of the Match jacket goes to Ryan Harris for his stellar performance at Chester-le-Street, including his 7-117 and 28 valuable runs in the first innings.

As far as the pink jacket goes there were plenty of candidates, but the honour goes to James Faulkner for his excellent attitude and helpfulness around the group. 

The team and myself can’t thank the Australian public enough for their support over the last couple of months.

We’ll continue to learn and improve, play the brand of cricket we know we can play and really push home the advantage when we’re in the lead. 

Boof.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia. 

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia.
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