Lehmann seeks all-conditions players | cricket.com.au

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Lehmann seeks all-conditions players

Australia shift away from 'horses for courses' and look for players to thrive in all conditions, says Lehmann ahead of the second Test in Chittagong

Australia's horses for courses selection policy has given way to an approach that prioritises players that can succeed in all conditions, according to coach Darren Lehmann.

Following their 0-3 series whitewash in Sri Lanka last year, Cricket Australia high performance director Pat Howard stated that the selection panel wouldn't hesitate to overlook players who might excel in one part of the world but not another for future tours.

It's an approach that came into play on Australia's Qantas tour of India earlier this year when Usman Khawaja, who's dominated on home turf in recent summers, was overlooked for the four-Test series.

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Lehmann says the likes of opener Matthew Renshaw, fast bowler Pat Cummins and spinning allrounder Ashton Agar - who all made important, if not match-turning contributions in Australia's defeat to Bangladesh in Dhaka this week - are players that can thrive in all conditions.

"You are trying to look for that all-round player that can actually adapt in all conditions so you don't have to keep chopping and changing with horses for courses," the 47-year-old told reporters ahead of Australia's departure for Chittagong, the venue for Monday’s second Test.

"You want to pick a side, a group, that can play together for five to ten years if that is possible and that is what we are trying to do.

"For us it is a long-term view. Obviously you have still got to get results going your way."

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After Shaun Marsh missed selection for the Bangladesh tour, Khawaja returned the first Test in Mirpur, contributing just one in each innings and again raising questions over his ability to handle high-quality spin on the subcontinent.

Should Australia opt to alter the balance of their XI in Chittagong, Khawaja would appear to be one of the players potentially in the gun.

And while Lehmann insists his first priority is doing whatever it takes to defeat Bangladesh and level the series, he says he has a "pretty clear" view of what Australia's XI will look like come November and it likely includes Khawaja at first drop.

"It is important to have a settled group where you possibly can," Lehmann said.

"Obviously the result (in Dhaka) didn't go our way so we have to think what we are doing there and think how we want to go about it.

"But for the Ashes, we are pretty clear on where we are going and who want to play in that scenario in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and all of those wickets.

"Most of the guys obviously know the Australian conditions really well.

"(But) that's too far ahead for us to look at. We have got a pretty important Test match over the next couple of days."


Australia in Bangladesh 2017

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Steve O'Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade.

Bangladesh squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (c), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Liton Das, Taskin Ahmed, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Taijul Islam, Mominul Haque.


27-31 August First Test, Dhaka, Bangladesh won by 20 runs


4-8 September Second Test, Chittagong