Lehmann has a hit, bemoans slow decks


Australia head coach Darren Lehmann took some time out to have a bat in Colombo this week, and said afterwards that the decks in Sri Lanka, and even in Australia, are much slower than when he played.

Lehmann, who played 27 Tests and 117 ODIs for the Aussies, said he wanted to see why his batsmen were having such a tough time on the tour, having lost the Test series three-nil, and was surprised with what he found.

Lehmann said on Radio FIVEaa in Adelaide: "I wanted to actually get a feel for what the wickets are like.

"You always go 'What the hell are we doing?' half the time, so I just went in and it's a lot slower than I can remember when I played. A lot slower.

"So that was quite interesting for me to get a feel for that and that's the only reason I did it. I was sore the next day after only batting for five minutes (laughs).

"It was good to get a feel for it. Sometimes you just don't know until you're out there and I'm glad I can still do that sort of stuff.

"They're really slow and they're turning a lot, a lot more than when we played, for example."

He added about the decks in Australia, which used to be a paradise for fast bowling: "Drop-in wickets have brought a change to the way wickets are prepared in Australia with the football and the shared stadiums and all that.

"That's great for the game obviously, but the wickets need to be different.

"Perth used to be really fast and bouncy, the Gabba used to seam, Adelaide spun, Sydney spun from day one.

"So we had all those variables naturally as a youngster growing up and playing, but now with drop-ins and the way the wickets are they've become a bit docile."