Darren Lehmann

Shield runs the key for Ashes hopefuls

Darren Lehmann is pleased to see Australian batsmen putting their hand up for Ashes selection, but performances against the red ball will be crucial leading into the first Test at the Gabba.

Speaking with in Melbourne on Friday, Lehmann says he was looking forward to seeing players in action for their Bupa Sheffield Shield teams or Australia A as they compete for a spot in the Ashes line-up.

George Bailey and Shaun Marsh are two of the batsmen who have impressed the Australian coach with strong performances on the VB Tour of India and in the RYOBI Cup respectively.

QUICK SINGLE: Hayden calls for Bailey Test call-up

“They’ve certainly put their case forward, but now they have to continue that form and keep that going.

“It’s going to be an interesting couple of weeks for individual players getting ready for the first Test,” Lehmann said

Mitchell Johnson is another player that has caught the eye of the selectors, with the experienced quick again leading the ODI attack with confidence in India.

“He’s certainly putting his name at the forefront of bowlers around the country.

“From our point of view as selectors, he’s doing everything he can.”

With Australia holding a 2-1 series lead in the ODI series against India, Lehmann said he was pleased to see the group building momentum ahead of the much-anticipated Commonwealth Bank Ashes series on home soil.

“We’re playing the brand of cricket we want to play.

“I’m pleased with the way they’ve kept that going from England, and now it’s a case of building that and making it repetitive so we’re always doing the right thing.”

England today arrived in Australia with day one of the first Test less than four weeks away.

QUICK SINGLE: Meet the tourists

Great seats are still available for most days of the Commonwealth Bank Ashes series. Get in quick to avoid disappointment: