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Ashes: Aus coach Lehmann urges fans to keep the pressure on England

November 29, 2013 09:14 IST

Ashes: Aus coach Lehmann urges fans to keep the pressure on England

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Australia coach Darren Lehmann added fuel to the fiery Ashes series on Friday by urging Australia fans to keep the heat on England and said he wants his own team to continue playing "aggressive, in-your-face" cricket.

Lehmann's side took a 1-0 series lead after some intimidating, short-pitched fast bowling by Mitchell Johnson helped Australia to a comprehensive 381-run victory in the first Test in Brisbane.

The match saw some aggressive sledging by both sides, with Australia captain Michael Clarke censured and fined for comments picked up by stump microphones.

Australia's players have stated they would not take a backward step in their pursuit of the Ashes, which they have not been able to regain in three successive series.

"I want to take Australian cricket back to the golden eras of Lillee and Thomson, the Chappells and Steve Waugh," Lehmann wrote in News Limited newspapers on Friday.

"The days of Merv Hughes, Rodney Marsh and Allan Border when Australia was defined by a good, hard brand of cricket.

"We want to play within the rules but we will play aggressive, in-your-face cricket which was a trademark of the above eras.

"When Australian teams are performing at their best they are playing right on the edge as we were in Brisbane.

"That is the Aussie way."


Image: Australia captain Michael Clarke (right) speaks to James Anderson of England
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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Ashes: Aus coach Lehmann urges fans to keep the pressure on England

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Lehmann got himself into hot water before the Test series when he told an Australian radio station he hoped local fans would send England's Stuart Broad "home in tears" after the fast bowler refused to walk at Trent Bridge earlier this year.

Lehmann was fined and later apologised for accusing Broad of "blatant cheating", though Australia's News Limited newspapers have seemingly led a campaign to destabilise the England team during the series.

Brisbane's Courier Mail labelled Kevin Pietersen "arrogant" and said he had no friends in the England dressing room and also refused to acknowledge Broad during the Test, despite the lanky fast bowler taking six wickets in Australia's first innings.

The crowd at the Gabba also took on board Lehmann's advice, trying to smuggle a pig with the word 'Broad' painted on it into the ground and booing the England players, while vociferously supporting their own, particularly recalled fast bowler Johnson.


Image: Australia coach Darren Lehmann (right) with Michael Clarke
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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'I loved the whole theatre around Mitchell Johnson's display at the Gabba'

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"I loved the whole theatre around Mitchell Johnson's display at the Gabba right down to the fact that his new moustache brought back all those rich memories of the 70s with the stars and their handlebar mo's (moustaches)," Lehmann added.

"I like the sight of characters expressing themselves in the game. That's the sort of cricket the fans want to see.

"We have asked Mitchell to fill a role and he did that brilliantly with aggression and confidence. We want him to liven them up.

"My hope for the second Test in Adelaide and beyond is that Australian fans can replicate the crowd force of Brisbane.

"The noise in Brisbane when Johnson and Lyon were spearing through England's first innings was something to behold.

"The volume level ... was sustained for over after over.

"It is a long time since we have felt the sort of vibe that the whole country was behind us."

The second Test in Adelaide begins on December 5.


Image: Mitchell Johnson (right) celebrates after taking the wicket of Stuart Broad
Photographs: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

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