Lehmann pleased with Aussie tour draw

He admits there’s a few cobwebs there but Australia coach Darren Lehmann is on the whole happy with Australia’s three-day tour match in Antigua.

The game petered out into a tame draw at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Friday, with the WICB President’s XI reaching 4-161 at stumps in their second innings, an overall lead of 293 runs.

Josh Hazlewood took 3-4 in his four-over spell after lunch as the hosts slumped to 4-41 but that was as close as the game realistically got to a result.

Shaun Marsh’s 118 in Australia’s 250 was also a highlight, but the overall score, which gave up a lead of 132 runs to the hosts on the first innings was of some concern to Lehmann.

“You would like more runs but it’s a first hitout for some of the guys,” Lehmann said.

“Obviously a lot of the guys have been playing IPL, (and) they didn’t play, but the guys that did that’s their first hit since the summer.

“There’s some cobwebs there but they’ve trained really well. We’ll be fine.”

While Hazlewood and Marsh emerged with credit intact, question marks remain over spin twins Fawad Ahmed and Nathan Lyon.

Fawad in particular failed to seize a match which was effectively a trial for a possible debut in next week’s Test against the West Indies in Dominica.

The 33-year-old, who took 2-113 in the first innings, was wicketless in 13 overs on Friday and Lehmann admitted he’d had a mixed game along with Lyon, who also only managed two first innings scalps.

“I think they got really good spells at certain stages,” Lehmann said.

“Not as well as they would have liked, or the captain would have liked, at certain stages either.

“We love bowling him (Fawad), now it’s a case of getting him fine-tuned for the Test match.”

Lehmann also praised Adam Voges, who made a first innings 52 in a century partnership with Marsh.

That score is unlikely to deliver the 35-year-old a debut Test next week however, with David Warner, Steve Smith and Shane Watson all poised to return to the line-up against the West Indies.

Allrounder Mitchell Marsh is also unlikely to regain his Test spot with Watson settling in well after his late arrival in the West Indies due to the birth of his second child in Australia.

Marsh made just eight with the bat and despite some tidy bowling, has probably not done enough to force his way into the lineup for the first Test in Dominica starting on Wednesday.

“We always want to play five bowlers so the make up of the side will just work from there,” Lehmann said, adding until the pitch in Roseau has been assessed he won’t know the make-up of the team.

Australia depart Antigua on Saturday morning and hold their first training session at Windsor Park in Roseau on Sunday.

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