Ashes 2017 -18: Darren Lehmann plays down hopes of an Ashes whitewash

Darren Lehmann not pleased with the MCG track.

Darren Lehmann | Getty Images

Darren Lehmann, Australia Head Coach, on Thursday, admitted that their hopes of a 5-0 series whitewash are effectively over with England's 164 lead in their first innings in the fourth Ashes Test at The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Alastair Cook played a sizzling unbeaten knock of 244 to help his team to post 491/9 at stumps on day three of the MCG Test and helped England to take a first-innings lead of 164 against Australia.

Steve Smith-led Australian side would have wanted to complete their a third whitewash in four home Ashes series' in Melbourne and Sydney after retaining Urn against England with Perth victory. But England belatedly showed some fight in the prestigious series and quenched out Australia's hopes of 5-0 series whitewash, and even Coach Lehmann also admitted the same as well.

As per Sky Sports, Lehmann told reporters, “We're 160 runs behind, mate...we'd have to get 450 in a day. How do you want us to do that? Slog? We're just going to be passing them by stumps tomorrow night. So what do you want us to set them? We've got to worry about getting past them first and batting well. That's the first challenge and a different challenge for the group, which is great.”

He further added, “We'll hopefully bat through the day and re-assess after tomorrow, that's all we can do. England scored reasonably quickly, but you'd think we're not going to score as quickly as that. We certainly didn't go into the game looking that far ahead (at a whitewash). You only concentrate on this game.”

The Aussie coach also complained about the lack of life of the MCG wicket. Lehmann concluded by saying, “You’d like a bit more bounce and pace. Obviously, it’s a big weapon of ours. But you’ve got to chop and change. Look, it is what it is, and we just get on with it.”

By Rashmi Nanda - 29 Dec, 2017

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