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Oz not afraid of risks: Lehmann

2014-03-06 14:01

Cape Town - The Australians are not afraid to take risks and that is the difference between the them and South Africa, cricket coach Darren Lehmann said in Cape Town after his side clinched the three-Test series 2-1.

"[We're] trying to play the brand of cricket to win Test matches. The ways in which we always push for victory is important," the former Australian cricketer said at Newlands on Wednesday.

"We weren't afraid to lose. We're happy to play cricket in the right way that entertains the crowd."

South Africa batted for the majority of the final day of the Test at around two runs per over, fighting for a draw and unconcerned with the victory target of 511.

Lehmann said the Australian culture of aggressive cricket helped win matches and attracted the crowds at home.

"Obviously the crowd came in at the end of the day, but it was a pretty disappointing crowd for a couple days here in Cape Town.

"We want to get people coming through the gates, and if other teams want to play on flat wickets and make it dull, then that's their choice."

Australian captain Michael Clarke praised the mammoth effort of his bowlers in the second innings, finishing off the match with less than five overs to spare.

"Ryan Harris, at the start of the day, was struggling to walk let alone bowl. For him to be able to keep running in and do a job for us was great" Clarke said.

"Mitchell Johnson bowled 34 overs in the second innings, and James Pattinson just kept running in and trying his best. I think our attack deserves a lot of credit."

The Australians arrived in South Africa having pummelled the English 5-0 in the latest Ashes series on home soil. However, the team's record abroad was shaky after losing seven out of their seven most recent Tests abroad. The previous Ashes series in England was a 3-0 whitewash to the hosts while India wiped them out 4-0 in a prior away tour.

South Africa beat the Australians 1-0, in Australia in 2012/13, but have not won a home series against the Baggy Greens since readmission.

Clarke said beating the top Test nation was particularly significant and meaningful for the team.

"Any time that you beat the number-one team in the world is extremely special.

"For us to get over the line is very special for this Australian team. It certainly shows and represents that we're heading in the right direction as a team. It's our first bit of success away from home for a couple of years.

"I can't thank my team-mates enough for their heart, their attitude, and the hunger."

Clarke believed his side could learn a lot from the way the Proteas fought for the draw.

"South Africa deserve a lot of credit for the way they fought.

"As a batting unit, we should learn from what we've seen today. The number one team in the world fought their absolute backside off to not give us the game, and we've had to fight even harder to win the game. We will learn from that."

SAPA

Comments
  • Eckhart Piprek - 2014-03-06 14:12

    Spot on!

  • Henry Jansen - 2014-03-06 14:15

    nicely said mr lehman, south African cricketers doesn't know or understand the word 'entertain', they play for personal best scores, not as a collective! The approach Australia have adopted goes back many years and seasons, batting usually around 3 and a half runs to the over per day.

  • Shaun Naidoo - 2014-03-06 14:37

    Well said coach, but than what more do you expect from Chokers and Loosers. Any other team would have gone for the win, but on the 4th day already you saw reports of the Proteas saying they will be happy with a draw. Pathetic. Than comes the T20 world cup, i gaurantee you, it will be an early exit once again

  • francoisjacques.malan - 2014-03-06 14:45

    Wtf Lehmann? We invented entertaining Test cricket! There's a difference between chasing down runs for victory and grinding it out on the last day to bravely try and salvage a draw. Victory was out of the equation the moment Steyn got injured and we were unable to bowl out the Aussies! Taking the game into the final minutes of the last day was a mammoth feat, says a lot about our grit and in itself was damn entertaining! So shut up Lehmann and let Michael Clarke do the talking!

      Hero-Gorha Madikizela - 2014-03-06 16:18

      @Francois: "we invented entertaining test cricket", I agree with you on that one, the way we've played test matches in the past few years has been very entertaining, whether we play in SA or abroad. We have the most competitive test team which can play in all conditions around the world...

      Harris Philip - 2014-03-07 04:46

      LOL! "invented entertaining test cricket" There would be good few Australians , batsmen and bowlers who would argue that one ...starting with Adam Gilchrist I guess!

  • Patrick Cawood - 2014-03-06 15:09

    Posting 500 plus to win...no risk in that. A risk would of been giving SA 450 to chase with more time to bowl them out. Sure the finish was a little to close for comfort?

  • Ian Spear - 2014-03-06 15:34

    Senor Darren, from what I observed in the Australian balcony, YOU Senor Darren were the one holding back on the timing of the declaration. Knowing Clarke he was happy with 425/450 ahead, that's his nature to back himself and his bowlers. and your body language showed a man in two minds. This fear factor nearly cost you the test and the series mate. If my observations are wrong I eat humble pie, if I am right and there was some serious debate on the declaration, be a man an admit you nearly botched it for Clarkey. Anywy Darren, great test and series victory overall. Yor game plans and application were good, your lesser known brand names stepped up to the plate when needed and a lot of credit must go to them. Congratulation mate.

      Michael Simon - 2014-03-06 22:34

      If Steyn had played and got say 3 wickets, the Aussies would have had 20 more overs up their sleeve and probably would've won sooner.

      Harris Philip - 2014-03-07 04:47

      Michael ..if my Auntie had testicles she would be my Uncle. If If If .

  • Vaibhav Rahangdale - 2014-03-06 16:11

    Chokers are always choke at the crucial time. It's simple.

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