Lehmann to join side before second ODI


Australia coach Darren Lehmann has been given medical clearance to rejoin the side in New Zealand ahead of the second ODI, which will be a relief given their sudden loss of form.

Australia have lost five games in a row, starting with the fifth ODI against India when Lehmann was hospitalised for Deep Vein Thrombosis. As such, he was not cleared to fly, and is not in New Zealand yet.

But he has been cleared ahead of the second ODI on Saturday, and will join up with the team on the weekend, taking back the reins from Michael di Venuto.

Cricket Australia’s Chief Medical Officer John Orchard confirmed: Darren has received clearance from specialists in Australia to travel on Saturday and return to work."

Australia were demolished in the first ODI against the Black Caps, but the players have denied that Lehmann's absence, coinciding with their five lost matches, had anything to do with it.

Skipper Steve Smith said after the latest loss: "We'd love to have our coach here. There's no doubt about that. He's unwell at the moment obviously and he'll be back soon enough.

"So we've got to move on, I don't think today was him to blame. It was certainly the players. We didn't adapt well enough and we were outplayed."

Former skipper George Bailey took a more sarcastic approach when asked about missing Boof on SEN radio: "I don't think he would have scored any runs on that wicket either. It wouldn't have suited him.

"Boof's been around the group for long enough and we've all played enough with him, including the coaching staff. The language is all the same. The meetings are all run the same. We've prepared the same.

"I think it would be a bit of a knee-jerk or shallow reaction to say it was all down to Boof being here or not being here.

"Absolutely we'd love to have him here as head coach, but I don't think we can pass the buck on that one."