Following England’s Ashes-clinching win at Trent Bridge on Saturday, captain Clarke announced that next week’s fifth Test at The Oval would be his last.
But with fast bowler Ryan Harris quitting through injury before the Ashes began, all-rounder Shane Watson dropped after the first Test in Cardiff, and veteran wicketkeeper Brad Haddin left out at Edgbaston after missing Lord’s for family reasons, the disintegration of Australia’s ageing side had already begun.
Now, Clarke’s decision to end a Test career that began more than a decade ago will spark soul-searching, not just in a dressing-room that includes the 37-year-old Chris Rogers, Adam Voges (35), Mitchell Johnson (33) and Shaun Marsh (32), but also among Australian selectors who have now watched their side lose four successive series in England.
Asked if their innings defeat at Trent Bridge signalled the end of an era for Australian cricket, Lehmann replied: ‘Yeah, probably. For us it’s about moving forward, working out what our best line-up is in different conditions and making sure we’ve got players who can adapt. It’s about getting batsmen who can bat long periods of time and bowlers who can put pressure on, day in and day out.’
Lehmann, who spent his unexpected day off watching Stoke take on Liverpool yesterday, must forge a new relationship with Smith before the tour of Bangladesh in October. The head coach was critical of his captain-to-be’s decisions in Nottingham, where he was out for six and five.
‘Steven would admit that he probably let himself down in shot selection,’ said Lehmann. ‘He knew what England were going to do, and that’s a learning curve for everyone. It’s all about getting better.’ – Daily Mail
Original source: Aussies set for wholesale changes