Darren Lehmann sets sights on ICC Champions Trophy 2017
With the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 barely 10 months away, one can safely say that the spotlight would be on Australia’s performance. The Kangaroos are the defending world champions and would want to add another trophy in their cabinet with a successful ICC Champions Trophy 2017. They won the event twice in succession, in 2006 in India and in 2009 in South Africa.
Ahead of a practice session in Johannesburg, Australian coach Darren Lehmann spoke to the media and addressed his side’s plan for the long term perspective, with emphasis on the Champions Trophy next year. With Australia opting for a few uncapped pacers for their upcoming ODI series against South Africa, Lehmann feels that it is an ideal opportunity for the young pacers to establish themselves before the big tournaments.
“We’ve got the Champions Trophy next year and then looking ahead to 2019 World Cup,” Lehmann said. “We’re always looking ahead. The players adapt really well when we do that.”There’s obviously good reasons we don’t bring Starc and Hazlewood here. We’re playing you in a Test series and we want to give them a break. It’s a great challenge for our young guys. They’re good young players and they’ll go well.”
Justifying the need to rest a few top players, Lehmann said, “We do turnover a bit in our one-day set-up because you’ve got to give the Test players a break somewhere.” “So we get our one-day players to chop and change a little bit. They handle it very well.”The great thing is it gives them a chance at this next level, so we’ve had someone like Travis Head come in and do really well for us, and the bowlers chop and change a bit. Steve knows he’s got a lot of depth of bowlers in this format.”
“We’ve got some good young fast bowlers,” Lehmann added. “We’ll only know that at the end of a series against a quality side. We’re hoping they step up and I’m sure they will. They’ve got some pace, they swing the ball and we’ve got some variations. “We’ve also got some good quality there with Hastings who has played really well for us, Boland did well last series in Sri Lanka and then you’ve got the three debutants who will play at some stage during the tournament.”
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