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Aussies bat with freedom


Aussies bat with freedom

All-rounder Adam Voges says Australia's improved performance with the bat in the one-day series against England is a reflection of the belief instilled by coach Darren Lehmann.

In a rarity for their marathon tour of the UK, Australia have the hosts under genuine pressure as they head into the third match of the series in Birmingham on Wednesday with a 1-0 series lead.

While batting was a weak point for Australia as they crumbed under pressure at times during the failed Ashes campaign, the top and middle order have looked strong in the limited overs games.

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Michael Clarke (105) and George Bailey (82) produced great knocks in an 88-run win over England in Manchester on Tuesday while openers Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh also made big scores in the lead-up to the series.

Voges believes that has a lot to do with new coach Lehmann helping them to remove the shackles and trust their natural games.

"When you watch how the guys went about their batting (in Manchester), I thought they played with some real freedom," Voges told AAP.

"I know Boof (Lehmann) is a big advocate for that, to go out there and play with a lot of freedom and back yourself.

"He puts a lot of belief in the guys and they're really embracing it."

As a result of the higher order firing, Voges has had little opportunity with the bat in matches against Scotland and England, scoring an unbeaten 16 in Manchester in his only inning so far.

He's not complaining though, and welcomes the chance for Australia to end their tour on a high note.

After the 3-0 Ashes series defeat and a winless Champions Trophy campaign, Australia find themselves in the unfamiliar position of being able to build momentum.

"It's a good position to be in and we'll be doing everything we can not to let them off now," Voges said.

"It's a great start but obviously we've got three games to go and if we can play some good cricket like we did hopefully we can keep them under pressure."

While Australia's performances in the one-day series should be put in perspective given England have rested the core of their Ashes winning squad, Voges believes they will still count for plenty leading into the tour in India and the return Ashes in Australia.

"Every game that we can win from now until the Ashes is going to be huge," Voges said.

Lehmann's focus on team stability means he is likely to stick with a winning side at Edgbaston, though Marsh's first-over duck in Manchester could open the door for Phillip Hughes to earn a recall.

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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