Aussie Angle: If anybody can sort this lot out ahead of the Ashes, Darren Lehmann can

The timing’s not the best but it’s better now than mid-Ashes

I know Darren Lehmann well, and he's a man who knows how to win. He's a double World Cup champion as a player, he's won three tournaments in Australia as a coach in all formats of the game and he's won the Indian Premier League too. He's the right bloke for the job.

"Boof" likes the way the game was played in the past, and in Test cricket there's still a bat and there's still a ball. You go around Australia and you won't hear a bad word said about him. What he's very good at is man management. He will bring a different approach to the job. He'll sit down with the team and say: "Well listen, guys, how are we going to win this match?" And he will allow the players to do the thinking themselves.

I think young players like Usman Khawaja, who plays under Lehmann at Queensland, will do better now. But it's not only the youngsters. "Boof" played under coaches like Bobby Simpson and John Buchanan, back in the days when we were the best team in the world and had the best set-up. So he knows about how to handle the old-school type of player as well.

If anyone can turn it around in a short space of time, he can. But the pressure now is on the players themselves, not on Lehmann. Now the old coach has gone, there's no one else left to blame. If they didn't want Mickey Arthur, they've got what they wanted but now it's time to put up and shut up. Now we'll see how good they really are.

I think Michael Clarke doesn't want to be a selector any more because the rotation system that has been introduced just doesn't work for our team. The players have told Clarke: "Look, we don't want to have you as a selector, we want to be able to confide in you."

As we found out from Cricket Australia yesterday, Mick was told that he was ultimately responsible. He's taken a bullet that he didn't see coming. We always take tough decisions in Australia, always have, always will. The timing's not the best but it's better to do it now than halfway through the series.

So was the decision pre-planned? Is it a coincidence that the CEO of Cricket Australia, James Sutherland, is already in England three weeks before the start of an Ashes series? I've known James since he was 20 and I've never seen him so irate as when he described David Warner hitting Joe Root as "despicable". And Sutherland is taking personal responsibility for the decision.

Mick's record was OK but no more than that: 10 wins and six defeats in 19 Tests. If it wasn't for one session against South Africa last year, when we were reduced to 6 for 45 in the third Test in Perth, we would have been the No 1 Test team in the world. But it's all been downhill from there. And Homeworkgate in Chandigarh and other incidents have not gone down well.

Mick's a quality bloke but he may not have understood the Australian culture around the team. We've got to surround the side with a core group of former players who have been there and done that. You could have 10 to 15 of them in that group to get the culture right. They don't have to all be involved at once, just two or three at a time.

I was the batting coach with the team earlier this year. Mickey invited me in and he was fantastic. During the winter Michael Clarke asked Matty Hayden, Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath to come in and we all worked with the team for a whole Test match at home; we were effectively part of the squad, and we were brought in to help the players make good decisions.

So is it now time for Clarke to give Mike Hussey a ring? The board didn't handle that situation well at all when he decided to jack it in.

One thing's for sure, it was time for a change. We never lost 4-0 in India, we never did so badly in a one-day tournament. Never once in my playing days did I see a player hit another player. If you behave like a buffoon off the field, you will behave like one on the field too.

Former Australian Test batsman Dean Jones will be writing regularly for 'The Independent' during the Ashes

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent