I'm concerned about Australia, not England: Darren Lehmann

Updated: November 27, 2013, 9:08 AM IST
I'm concerned about Australia, not England: Darren Lehmann

Australia coach Darren Lehmann has no plans to meet Andy Flower to defuse any lingering tension from the spiteful first Test in Brisbane and said the England team director needed to worry about his own players rather than their opponents.

Australia thrashed the tourists by 381 runs at the Gabba but were criticised by British media and former England players for taking the on-field sledging too far.

Australia batsman David Warner was also condemned as "disrespectful" by England captain Alastair Cook and Flower for publicly criticising Jonathan Trott's batting in Brisbane. The England number three has since flown home to deal with a stress-related illness.

Lehmann said he had spoken to Warner and his team about confining the chatter to the field but dismissed any need to set ground rules with Flower. "From my point of view, Andy looks after his side and I look after my side. That's what you do in the game of cricket," Lehmann told Adelaide-based radio station 5AA.

"At the end of the day, he's in control of the England cricket team and we've got to try and get the Ashes back. I've got to worry about the Australian cricket team and not the England cricket team.

"I'm happy they [Australia] played good, hard cricket and if they go outside that, they get [rapped] over the knuckles by the ICC, don't they?"

Australia captain Michael Clarke was fined 20 percent of his match fee by the ICC after he was caught on the stump microphone telling James Anderson to get ready for a "broken" arm when the pace bowler was batting on day four.

The incident has sparked a heated debate in both countries' media as to who was in the wrong, with former Australia spinner Shane Warne alleging that Anderson was the aggressor in threatening to "punch" Australia's Test debutant George Bailey.

Lehmann also suggested that Anderson, renowned for his on-field chatter, gave as good as he got. "I was happy that Bails [Bailey] gave him a bit back," Lehmann said. "There's nothing wrong with that. That's part and parcel of the game. They're two grown men, they're all grown men out there. They'll work it out."

Lehmann said the teams had all shaken hands after the match and were "very respectful" to each other. He could not understand how England might have misgivings from any of the on-field exchanges.

"It's really hard to comment. I just know that we copped a lot in England and we didn't shy away from that," Lehmann said. "That's just what happens. You expect it when you go away. So I don't see what the difference is from England to here considering we were on the other end of it.

"Both teams played hard, and as long as it stays on the field, I'm happy with it. Jonathan Trott has gone home and we hope he gets well soon and all those sorts of things. We do really care about that, but we're still going to play really hard cricket and that's what we're about."

The second Test starts in Adelaide on December 5.

First Published: November 27, 2013, 9:08 AM IST

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