Melbourne - Australia coach Darren Lehmann has said that his team are no
longer confident of sealing an Ashes whitewash after giving up a big first
innings lead at the MCG.
Driven largely by an unbeaten 244 from Alastair Cook England
moved to 491 for 9 by stumps on day three to lead by 164 runs.
Lehmann feels that Australia would have to be
hyper-aggressive to get any sort of result out of the match with a bit of rain
around on the two remaining days.
Speaking after play on day three Lehmann said: "We're a
164 runs behind, we'll have to get 450 in a day.
"How do you want us to do that? Slog?
"We've got to worry about getting past them first and
batting well. That's the first challenge and a different challenge for the
group, which is great.
"We'll hopefully bat through the day and re-assess
after tomorrow, that's all we can do. England scored reasonably quickly, but
you'd think we're not going to score as quickly as that.
"We certainly didn't go into the game looking that far
ahead (at a whitewash). You only concentrate on this game."
Lehmann defended seamer Jackson Bird, in the team for the
injured Mitchell Starc, who has sent down thirty wicketless overs in the match
so far and has been the subject of Barmy Army mockery.
The coach said: "I thought he bowled good spells at
times but was a bit wayward at other times.
"That's the pressure when you're coming back into the
game and you're trying to get wickets. On other occasions he was very good.
"It's always tough to get wickets on those types of
tracks. You've got to have some air speed and some control. He'll be better for