Qantas Tour of South Africa
Seven contenders to replace Lehmann
After Darren Lehmann's tearful resignation, we take a look at some of the possible candidates to replace him as Australia coach
AAP & Cricket Network
30 March 2018, 03:01 PM AEST
The Western Australian has long been seen as a likely successor to Lehmann. Most expected the baton to be passed after the 2019 Ashes, but the ball-tampering scandal has thrown any carefully-laid plans out the window. Langer coached the national side when Lehmann sat out an ODI tour of the West Indies in 2016, while he has mentored Western Australia and Perth Scorchers since 2012. The former Test opener once described the role of coach - when it comes to managing behaviour - as a mix of policeman, headmaster, parent and mate. The Scorchers have won three BBL titles under Langer's watch while WA have twice finished as Sheffield Shield runners-up.
Ponting has previously ruled out taking on a full-time international role but has made no secret of his desire to get involved with the national side. The Tasmanian has served as an assistant with the T20 side in last summer's series against Sri Lanka as well the recent tri-series involving New Zealand and England. While both roles were temporary, he's stated he's open to the possibility of one day taking on a coaching position with Australia, if Cricket Australia decided a standalone T20 coach is needed. The current crisis may see the job split in two with a red-ball coach and white-ball coach appointed separately, an idea Lehmann flagged last year. Ponting, Australia's all-time leading run scorer, will return to the Indian Premier League for the upcoming season as coach of the Delhi Daredevils, having led the Mumbai Indians to the 2015 title.
The ex-Test paceman coached the Adelaide Strikers to their maiden KFC Big Bash League title earlier this year, while he has also served as an assistant with the national T20 side in the past. Gillespie, who played alongside Lehmann at both South Australia and Australia, recently insisted he has every intention to honour a three-year deal with English county side Sussex. Lehmann's resignation may force a rethink from Gillespie, who went close before ultimately losing to Trevor Bayliss in the race to be England's new coach on the eve of the 2015 Ashes.
The Australian is contracted to coach England until 2019, but could come up in discussions - especially if there is a white-ball gig to fill. England were smashed 4-0 in the recent Ashes, but belted Australia 4-1 in the ensuing ODI series and are set to be World Cup favourites when they host the tournament next year. The Goulburn-raised coach is highly respected by many Australians in the Test XI, having mentored NSW and the Sydney Sixers in the past.
The side's bowling mentor filled in as head coach during an ODI tour of India last year. While Saker, who coached Victoria to the 2016-17 Sheffield Shield title in his sole season at the helm, lacks the profile of some of the other names on this list, he has previously made it clear he would one day love to take the reins. The former first-class paceman has however conceded his lack of international experience could hinder his ambitions. "I know not playing cricket for Australia makes it a little bit harder," Saker said last year. "But I think I’ve been involved in Test cricket, one-day cricket and Twenty20 cricket a lot. I’ve seen a lot of cricket, so I think I could do the job without a doubt."
The former wicketkeeper has been Australia's fielding coach for a tick over six months. Haddin has almost certainly not served a long enough apprenticeship to get the top job, but his coaching skills are well regarded by many. The New South Welshman has also served as an assistant with Australia A sides and has worked with the country's most promising gloveman at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in recent years.
Another long-shot, Rogers was recently confirmed as Matthew Elliott's successor as the high-performance coach tasked with guiding the best young batting talent in the country. Noted for his sharp cricket mind and unique view of the game, the 40-year-old has dipped his toes in the coaching waters over the past 18 months both in the United Kingdom, where he's worked with county sides Somerset and Gloucestershire, and at home with various Cricket Australia tour match and underage sides.
Qantas tour of South Africa
South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Quinton de Kock, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, AB de Villiers.
Australia squad: Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Matt Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.
Warm-up match: Australia beat South Africa A by five wickets. Report, highlights
First Test Australia won by 118 runs. Scorecard
Second Test South Africa won by six wickets. Scorecard
Third Test South Africa won by 322 runs. Scorecard
Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3. Live coverage