The Ashes: Lehmann expecting both England and Australia to ‘play it hard’ in Adelaide

Australian coach Darren Lehmann expects a wounded England to hit back hard in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide which starts this weekend. Picture: Jason O'Brien/PA
Australian coach Darren Lehmann expects a wounded England to hit back hard in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide which starts this weekend. Picture: Jason O'Brien/PA
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Australia coach Darren Lehmann has warned England to expect more hostility from the home pace attack as they switch from Brisbane to Adelaide for the second Test.

READ MORE - Chris Waters: Jonny Bairstow can still ensure England have last laugh in The Ashes

Joe Root’s tourists faltered to a 10-wicket defeat after they failed to sustain an encouraging start at The Gabba, where the pitch was much slower than anyone expected at a venue renowned for its pace and bounce.

Former Yorkshire batsman Lehmann is anticipating a quicker surface, however, at the Adelaide Oval - which will stage the inaugural day-night Ashes Test from Saturday.

As the hosts arrived in the South Australia capital, Lehmann was asked at an airport press conference if he believed seamers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins will find the same assistance they eventually did in Brisbane.

“I think we’ll get more,” he said. “There’s a bit more pace and bounce in the wicket ... it was the quickest wicket last year, so I hope that’s a good sign for us.”

England's Joe Root shows his frustration after suffering a 10-wicket defeat to Australia in the opening Ashes Test match at The Gabba in Brisbane. Picture: Jason O'Brien/PA.

England's Joe Root shows his frustration after suffering a 10-wicket defeat to Australia in the opening Ashes Test match at The Gabba in Brisbane. Picture: Jason O'Brien/PA.

England were competitive for two and a half days at the Gabba, before Australia’s victory surge culminated in wide-margin superiority by the final morning.

Lehmann added: “I thought [England] played well at times ... but certainly when the wicket quickened up it played in our favour. I hope [this one] has got some pace and bounce in it.”

Australia have the option of picking Chadd Sayers for a ‘horses-for-courses’ Test debut on his home ground, and Lehmann does not discount the possibility of drafting the seamer in this week.

“He’s done really well,” he said. “His record is outstanding in Adelaide - (we’ll) look at the conditions and see how the big three pull up.”

That was one of the best press conferences you’ll see, yesterday. That gave me a good giggle, good banter. Both sides will play it hard, there’s no doubt about it.

Australia coach, Darren Lehmann.

England’s disappointment in Brisbane was compounded by revelations about the friendly ‘head-butt’ greeting Jonny Bairstow had administered to Australia opener Cameron Bancroft when the pair first met in a Perth bar at the very start of the Ashes tour a month ago. No disciplinary action will be taken against the wicketkeeper by team management.

But it did allow Australia to try to put him off his game in the second innings, by reminding him of his strange gesture, and then Bancroft to delight a post-match press conference with his comedic recollections of Bairstow’s social faux pas.

Lehmann does not expect the incident to sour relations between the teams, though.

“It’ll be fine,” he said. “That was one of the best press conferences you’ll see, yesterday. That gave me a good giggle, good banter. Both sides will play it hard, there’s no doubt about it.”

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