Darren Lehmann Hails Australia’s Performance In India, Calls Steven Smith As ‘Bradman-Like’
Australia head coach Darren Lehmann has termed his side’s skipper Steven Smith as ‘Bradman-like’ for his ability to lead the team and score heavily at his will, before hailing the visitors all-round performance against India in the recently concluded four-match Border-Gavaskar series, which was reclaimed by the hosts on Tuesday (March 28) by winning the series 2-1 in Dharamsala.
“He’s [Steven] been Bradman-like with the bat but all the stuff behind the scenes has been exceptional. Really pleased for him and what he’s brought to the team as a leader,” Lehmann was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia.
The 47-year-old Lehmann has shown great satisfaction in the way Kangaroos made India work hard for the series win, while adding, the gripping series has set the tone for the visitors to go with strength during the upcoming fixtures.
“The way they’ve gone about it has been impressive. They (the Australia team) have been young, they’ve been up against it, the pitches have be as we would expect. There’s a lot of learnings in this group over this tour,” Lehmann said of Smith.
The 27-year-old right-handed batsman Smith had scored 499 runs at the staggering average of 71.28. He had smashed three hundreds during the recently concluded four-match series on a land, where they suffered a four-nil beating in their last Test outing in 2012/13.
“He’s [Smith] led from the front the captain. Three hundreds in four Test matches is pretty special,” Lehmann remarked.
The South Australian-born Lehmann has also witnessed 3-0 loss against Sri Lanka last year followed by 2-1 home loss against South Africa as a coach, before Cricket Australia (CA) overhauled the team, as they later went on to win 3-0 Test series against Pakistan at home.
While lavishing praise on Smith, Lehmann stated the skipper could become one of the great Test batsmen for Australia, if he continues with the form as has been in. Adding the batting prodigy Smith has led his team quite well on the Indian tour.
“He’s a different leader to Michael [Clarke], to Ricky, to Taylor, to Waugh. And he’s working out his own identity as a captain. Everyone is proud of him. So pleased with where he is going. He’ll just get better and better,” Lehmann stated.
During the post-match presser in Dharamsala, Smith made public apology to put an end to the ‘bitter relations’ after DRS controversy marred the Bengaluru Test, which further made both the boards (BBCI-CA) to intervene in the matter.
Lehmann, who played 117 One-day Internationals and 27 Tests for Australia, had been on the forefront to prepare his side before the start of the recently concluded series which had witnessed tempers were set high on the field.
“We weren’t good enough in this series, there is no doubt about that. We missed big opportunities to win the series. It is a group that can play a long time together. That’s the pleasing thing,” Lehmann concluded.
In 54 Tests, Smith has scored 5,251 runs at an average of 61.05 which include 20 hundreds and 20 fifties respectively.
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