Lehmann defends Oz squad balance


Australia head coach, Darren Lehmann, has expressed confidence in his squad, despite trailing 1-0 as the series moves from Kandy to Galle.

Sri Lanka loaded their team with spinners in the first Test, while Australia went for a more circumspect, two spinners and three seamers option.

Speaking after the announcement of his contract extension, Lehmann rubbished suggestions Australia should have brought along a third spinner: "It's how you fit them into the side,

"Which one of the quicks do you want to drop? It's hard, or you've got to drop a batter, and at the moment we can't afford to do that.

"We're not making enough runs in the subcontinent.

"So we've got to keep our batting strength, making sure they're making enough runs, and one day hopefully go down that path."

After a disappointing defeat on the ground thought to be best suited to the tourist's, questions were asked about a spinning allrounder as well, but Lehmann reiterated his belief that the balance of the squad was good:

"No, I think we've got the right mix in selection, for the tour and the game,

"From a selector's point of view, we’re really happy with the squad we've got and the mix we've got."

The Chairman of Selectors, Rod Marsh defended the selection of Mitchell Marsh: "To look at the way he batted in this game, in the context of the game where apart from a bloke who got 176 he was one of the best batsmen in the game,

"But he got 31 and 25 and that's the sad part. He started beautifully on both occasions, but that can happen on pitches like this, you get one with your name on it.

"He missed one in the first innings, which he wouldn't like, at least he's got his pad in front of this one, but he is in good nick.

"His bowling's probably kept him in the side to a degree, but his bowling's going to be less important here than his batting.

"He's got a big reach as well, and I think that helps often on turning pitches."

Australia begin training in Galle ahead of the second Test which gets underway on August 4.