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Darren Lehmann deserves credit for Australia’s World Cup triumph

After the bitter experience with Mickey Arthur, Lehmann was brought in to add some old-fashioned enjoyment.

Australia, Australia New Zealand, New Zealand Australia, AusvNZ, NZvAus, World Cup 2015, 2015 World Cup Darren Lehmann won the trophy as a player in 2003 and won it as a coach in 2015. (Source: Reuters)

Of the last five World Cups, Australia has won four of them underlining their superiority as a cricketing superpower. But the credit is due to their coach Darren Lehmann for turning around the fortunes.

He took over the side at a difficut time when the fortunes were at a low ebb. Lehmann brought that old-fashioned Aussie spirit back into play. He did things the old fashioned way with the captain being the man in charge. He did not impose himself on the squad and let them express themselves.

Just going to really enjoy this moment, says Mitchell Starc 

After the bitter experience with Mickey Arthur, Lehmann was brought in to add some old-fashioned enjoyment in playing the game. Australia’s generation of champion cricketers were allowed to perform by John Buchanan, who preferred to remain in the background. Buchanan coached a generation of legends like Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh, Mathew Hayden and Glenn McGrath among others. Buchanan always let the players to be at the forefront as they won everything in sight.

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In that phase between 1999 and 2007, Australia were ruthless in Test matches and absolutely in ODI cricket. Australia won three World Cups in this phase with Buchanan being coach in the 2003 and 2007 editions.

READ: ‘Pakistan knock was the most important I have played in ODI cricket’

Australia needed a coach like Buchanan then to let the champions perform at the best of their ability. Lehmann was part of that era and featured in the 1999 and 2003 campaigns. Lehmann has tried to imbibe some of his experiences as a player in that champion era in his role as coach. Lehmann was like the elder brother in the dressing room, putting his arm around the younger players. Then with the seniors like Brad Haddin, Shane Watson and Michael Clarke, he spoke like peers.


Lehmann has seen that era as a player and now as a coach he is at the cusp of yet another reign by Australia as world’s best cricket unit. Lehmann’s unique experience has been aided very well by fast bowling coach Craig McDermott.

Now, McDermott was part of the start of revival of Australian cricket in 1985. He played no mean a part in the 1987 World Cup win. Australia’s current revival has been championed by their fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris. Together they have created panic in rival camps in both Tests and ODIs. McDermott with his experience has helped rejuvenate Johnson and give second wind to Harris, while Starc has been like a breath of fresh air.

Australia’s successful era under Buchanan was built on theories and war strategies of the Chinese, now it is based on hard nosed old fashioned cricketing thoughts.


First published on: 30-03-2015 at 03:08:41 pm
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