On Tuesday, Australia coach Darren Lehmann hinted that the hectic cricketing calendar may force him to give up his responsibility for the country’s ODI and T20I squads, leaving him to focus solely on Tests.
In recent times, health issues and a heavy workload has left no choice for Lehmann to miss several ODI and T20I series in recent years, including the recently concluded limited-overs tour of India. He returns to his position in the upcoming Ashes series against England but looking forward to the time when there is one coach for Tests and another for limited-overs cricket.
As quoted in cricket.com.au, Lehmann said, “I think it will get to a stage where I’ll probably have to look at changing that set-up. I know speaking to (former England coach) Andy Flower for example… he didn’t like it so much, but I think the way that the game is going, you’ve got no choice now.”
Lehmann said he would consider splitting duties between Tests and limited-overs, rather than having three coaches for the 3 different formats. He said, “You can’t split them three ways — Tests, ODIs and T20Is. Some of the time there’s no point another coach coming in, it’s just logistical nightmares, so I think you’d probably go white ball, red ball.”
Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting, Jason Gillespie and David Saker are seen as possible suitors should Cricket Australia opt to divide the head coach roles. Australian coach even said that he could visualize the day when there were completely separate XIs for each format. He said, “Cricket is really getting specialized. You can see a time when down the track… I don’t know how many years but there’ll be really significant changes and the XIs will be separate for each format or in red-ball and white-ball cricket. And that’s happening now anyway, just because it’s the only way you can keep the players on the park.”
Darren concluded by acknowledging that such a system could also problems, but insisted it was reasonable. He said, “You’ve got big tournaments which are really important to win and your best side has to be available. And there’s always different stories, (such as) how (can) the young guys get an opportunity at the next level if you don’t give them the opportunity when you get a chance? So there’s pros and cons everywhere — it’s just how you balance it out.”