Ashes 2013-14: Darren Lehmann refuses to get caught up in Kevin Pietersen debate as he continues to mastermind England's downfall
Australia coach admits it is not for him to comment ahead of the five-match ODI series and two Twenty20 fixtures
Thursday 09 January 2014
Australia coach Darren Lehmann is happy to sit back and let England rake over the mistakes of their 5-0 Ashes whitewash.
While Lehmann has been credited with fostering the contented environment that saw Australia turn around their fortunes so significantly this winter, England have dissolved into chaos.
Reports that team director Andy Flower issued an ultimatum to end his, or Kevin Pietersen's, England career have been denied as "totally inaccurate" by the Zimbabwean.
But despite that their apparently uneasy working relationship remains the centre-point of discussion as England begin the task of rebuilding after their Ashes shambles.
It is a topic Lehmann is unwilling to delve into.
"I'm not going there to be perfectly honest," he said.
"That's for them to work out.
"We've got enough to worry about getting ready for a one-day series here and then a Twenty20 series - the World Cup is a focus as well.
"The England team have got decisions to make. They'll make them I'm sure."
The five-match one-day international series begins in Melbourne on Sunday and while Lehmann will again take charge of Australia, Flower has returned to England before beginning his Ashes review.
Flower ceded control of the limited overs teams to Ashley Giles just over a year ago, and the time away will at least allow him time to plot his next move.
Whether that includes retaining Pietersen - England's leading run-scorer during the Ashes, albeit at an average of 29.4 - looms as the most significant detail.
Pietersen has made no secret of his desire to remain a key part of England since defeat in the fifth Test in Sydney.
The 33-year-old has twice this week confirmed his "strong desire" to remain and try and win back the Ashes in 2015, while he has previously stated he would like to become the first England player to score 10,000 Test runs.
Flower though has suggested he is ready to begin a "new era" after being given the backing of the England and Wales Cricket Board to stay in the job.
The 45-year-old also pointedly suggested England would have to endure "more pain" before they turn around their fortunes with Pietersen, who has 8,181 Test runs, among a number of senior players who appear to be in the firing line.
Wicketkeeper Matt Prior, who lost his place behind the stumps during the Ashes, ended his forgettable tour as a hero, though.
Prior and team-mate Stuart Broad were returning from a function in Sydney on Tuesday night when they helped save a man from jumping from a the Pyrmont Bridge in Sydney.
The man had reportedly thrown his shoes, wallet and passport into the water with Prior describing him as "in a bad way".
The act made news across Australia with Lehmann describing their life-saving efforts as "pretty special".
"I thank them. It's a fantastic thing to do," he said.
"To save someone's life is pretty special."
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