Australia deliberately attacked Swann

Australia

Coach Darren Lehmann has pinpointed Australia's ability to successfully combat England spinner Graeme Swann as a key reason behind an unassailable three-nil lead in the ongoing Ashes series.

Coach Darren Lehmann has pinpointed Australia's ability to successfully combat England spinner Graeme Swann as a key reason behind an unassailable three-nil lead in the ongoing Ashes series.

Swann was prolific against the Aussies in the United Kingdom earlier this year, clinching 22 wickets in five-match, including a match haul of nine for 122 in the second Test at Lord's in London.

The 34-year-old, however, managed a mere seven wickets at the poor average of 80.00 during the return series – and on Sunday announced his retirement from international and first-class cricket with immediate effect.

"We had a plan for him in England but didn't execute it as well. We changed things around a little bit. He's a big player when they've only got four bowlers, or now they've got five with Ben Stokes in their side, and you have to try and take one or two of them out of the equation and make their quicks bowl more. That was certainly a plan from us," said Lehmann.

Left-armer Monty Pansesar is likely to be drafted into the XI in the absence of Swann for the closing Tests in Melbourn and Sydney, with leg-spinner Scott Borthwick suggested as a longer-term replacement. Borthwick has been capped twice in ODI cricket and has earned one Twenty20 International, but is yet to make a Test match debut.

"Swann has been a great bowler for England and he's obviously decided enough is enough and moved forward in his life. They're obviously going to go down Monty Panesar's path in the next two Test matches, so it's a challenge for our blokes to change the way we play against left-arm spin," added Lehmann.

Australian spinner Nathan Lyon, meanwhile, is drawing close to a 100 Test match wickets – and is likely to be retained at the MCG and SCG, where the hosts will chase a monumental series whitewash over the English.

"Graeme has had a great career and contributed to England wins for a long period of time. Nathan can take heart from that. They're obviously very traditional off-spinners. From Nathan's point of view, he's got a good career in front of him and it's up to him to grab it with both hands," concluded Lehmann.

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