Australia's on-field behaviour wasn't as bad as projected by the media, says Darren Lehmann

Warner and Smith are still serving their year long suspension by Cricket Australia.

Lehmann feels Australia wouldn't miss Warner - Smith in the upcoming home series against SL. (AFP)

The recent ball-tampering controversy involving Darren Lehmann, Steve Smith and David Warner against South Africa, tarnished the image of Australian cricket on its world map. 

Former Australian coach Darren Lehmann has further went on to say that the media has played its part in ruining the image of the country's cricket further. 

Lehmann batsman mentioned that the team under him in his tenure played hard and fair and that the banter on the field was much worse during his playing days. "When I played, there was a lot worse sledging going on in those days and years before. You want to promote the game fairly and play hard but fair on the field," Lehmann told Macquarie Sports Radio. 

Lehmann also mentioned that a few untoward incidents during his tenure were dealt with by the ICC. "There was a lot of talk about the Australian team being over-aggressive and there were some incidents in some games that they probably pushed it too far. They got dealt with accordingly from the ICC and match referee when they crossed that line but the Australians play that way in essence a lot of the time. They're not as bad as portrayed in the media."

Lehmann also urged the Australian fans to keep their faith in the Australian cricket team and support them to the hilt. "It (playing like New Zealand) will certainly help win the fans back over, and that's important because we want kids playing the great game of cricket. But you also need to win, win a certain way."

"That's a fine balance, because as Australians we want to see the Australian cricket team winning - I do, I'm a fan now sitting on this side. I want to see them win, play well, play fair but you've still got to have that right balance and that's the real tricky art Justin and Tim are going to face this summer" Lehmann said. 

Australia will face Sri Lanka next in a home series and Lehmann feels that the new set of players can cover the absence of their star players Steve Smith and David Warner. 

"Obviously, Warner and Smith are great players, they've made a lot of runs for Australia over their careers, and Bancroft was starting to come good in the last series. But our depth, it just gives another player an opportunity, a young kid coming through.

"The bowling is never going to be an issue. When you've got (Mitchell) Starc, (Josh) Hazlewood, (Pat) Cummins, (Nathan) Lyon, (James) Pattinson, you're 20 wickets aren't going to be an issue. You've just got to keep them (fast bowlers) on the park fit and playing.

"And runs in Australia, I think we'll bat quite well in Australia. A lot of people are writing us off in Australia. I'm not. I think we'll bat OK. The conditions suit the way we play and bat and the young guys will stand up," Lehmann concluded.

(Inputs from Cricbuzz) 


By Anshuman Roy - 02 Aug, 2018

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