Lehmann: NCN call up was a ‘tight’ decision


Australia coach Darren Lehmann has conceded that while fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile's selection for the West Indies Tests was the right choice, it was a close call by the selectors.

Coulter-Nile has not played a red ball match since March, and his selection for the upcoming series was widely criticised, with Victoria coach David Saker calling it 'ridiculous'.

Lehmann said that he felt the paceman had something special to add to the team, despite his lack of action: "We think he has got something special, his one-day record for us has been exceptional.

"It's a tight call on a whole heap of bowlers around the country but that is the way we have decided to go."

Another concern for the coach is Josh Hazlewood's workload, especially as Mitchell Johnson has retired and Mitchell Starc is injured. But Lehmann said they would take it Test by Test.

He added: "We'll just sum that up as we go. Test cricket, we have always said we are trying to pick the best side day-in, day-out.

"So if we rest him, if we had to do it in the one-dayers that might be a better option for us. But at the moment he's bowling well so we want to keep playing him.

"There's a decent break between the first and second Tests so I wouldn't say there are too many issues there, probably the short turnaround Melbourne-Sydney… but providing they pull up alright, if they're fit to go, they play."

Lehmann then looked back at the inaugural day-night Test in Adelaide, which Australia won inside three days, and said he would make only minor tweaks to the format, mostly to do with the pink ball.

He said: "I thought it was a great concept. It was probably over a little bit quick for my liking in terms of the game but it was exciting for three days and it could have gone either way.

"Maybe a little less grass (on the pitch) and maybe get the ball a little bit darker in the seam, but it's only a little bit of tweaking.

"I was quite impressed by it. I know the fans loved it … we have just got to make it better."