Selection errors not to blame for Ashes defeat – Lehmann

The tourists, firm favourites to retain the urn ahead of the series, lost the first, third and fourth tests by heavy margins and were criticised for picking the wrong team.


Experienced all-rounder Shane Watson and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin did not play after the first test in Cardiff and fast bowler Peter Siddle did not feature in the series until the final test when he bowled superbly to take six wickets.

“I don’t think we got the selection too bad — probably the one mistake was at Trent Bridge, picking Shaun Marsh over Mitchell Marsh,” Lehmann told reporters on Sunday after his team won the final test to lose the series 3-2.

“Full credit to England — they won the key moments in this series and they outplayed us,” Lehmann added.

Australia batsmen Steve Smith and Chris Rogers were the leading run scorers in the series and Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Johnson took more wickets than any England bowler except Stuart Broad.

“We had four of the five top wicket-takers and three of the four top run-scorers, but we didn’t win the key moments,” Lehmann said. “It was an unbelievable series.”

Australia captain Michael Clarke and opening batsman Chris Rogers played their last test match in the consolation victory at The Oval.

“Behind the scenes we’re all working really hard but now it’s all about picking the right guys for the next couple of years,” Lehmann said.

England and Australia play a Twenty20 international on Aug. 31 in Cardiff before starting a five-match one-day international series.

“The one-day side is in transition a bit too and we’ll have to play well because England have rediscovered their confidence in the one-day format,” Lehmann said.

(Editing by Ken Ferris)