Lehmann targets India and return Ashes series

Australia

Coach Darren Lehman has insisted Australia's two-one ODI series victory over England has afforded plenty of momentum ahead of a tour of India and the Ashes series later this year.

Coach Darren Lehman has insisted Australia's two-one ODI series victory over England has afforded plenty of momentum ahead of a tour of India and the Ashes series later this year.

The tourists won by 88 runs in Manchester and 49 runs in Southampton, while the hosts took a three-wicket triumph in Cardiff. Fixtures in Leeds and Birmingham were washed out.

All-rounder Shane Watson and Michael Clarke were key throughout, amassing centuries in game two and five respectively. The latter was named Player of the Series on the back of 202 runs in three innings.

"It gives us some confidence and we can go home and get back into the Indian series and then the Ashes. I am really pleased with the way they played throughout the ODI tournament, even though we had a few rain-affected games, but I thought we played pretty well," said Lehmann, whose side lost the previous Ashes series three-nil.

"We are very confident but we know we have got to improve in some areas – especially with the bat. The way we played, especially in the last three Tests, we were very, very good except for two hours in Durham. We just need to be consistent and grab the big moments and we know that.

"Everyone says it was a close series but we still ended up losing three-nil. It was closer than people think but at the end the result was three-nil, so we have got to improve. We know the conditions at home will probably suit us better than England but we have got to play better cricket."

Seamer Mitchell Johnson impressed this month, snaring nine wickets in five matches, which included a fine four-for in the one-off ODI against Scotland in Edinburgh. The left-armer's form has consequently earned public acclaim from former fast bowler Glenn McGrath.

"Johnson bowled fast the whole time and as long as he is consistent that is all he has to do so I am really impressed with him. He has put a strong case but he has got to keep backing that up like every other player. They have got to perform and perform at the level we need to compete against good sides," concluded Lehmann.

The Indians and Australians will meet for one T20I and seven ODIs between 10 October and 2 November.

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