Darren Lehmann thinks Ashes away victories more difficult

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Australia coach Darren Lehmann believes winning series away from home has become the Holy Grail in international cricket.

After England's 3-2 victory this summer, the Ashes has been won by the touring side just once in the past eight series, when Andrew Strauss' team celebrated Down Under in 2010/11.

Lehmann himself has coached three series against the old enemy, losing both times on the road but overseeing a 5-0 whitewash on home soil.


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And it is not just England and Australia who have struggled to overturn home advantage in recent times.

Of the last 14 completed Test series, just three have been won by the away team - Pakistan in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and Australia in the West Indies.

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England, for example, have aspirations of becoming the number one Test side having regained the urn, but will probably go into tours against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates followed by South Africa as underdogs.

"I think winning away from home for every Test country is the big thing now," said Lehmann.

"That's the challenge for the world game because there's a huge advantage playing at home.

"We haven't adapted well enough here, so it's a big challenge when we come back here in 2019, but you can't look that far ahead.

"What we've got to look at is a tough series against Bangladesh...we've got an away series against New Zealand, who are going to be tough over there. So there's quality sides and at home it's a lot easier to play than away.

"The team that plays well away from home will be the best team in the world."

The next Australia side to take the field under Lehmann's guidance is sure to be different to the one that bowed out with a face-saving innings victory at the Kia Oval.

Steve Smith will captain following Michael Clarke's retirement, and Chris Rogers has also called time leaving a big gap at the top of the order.

Other members of the original Ashes party who may find themselves on borrowed time include Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh, but Lehmann was not ready to lift the lid on any likely changes just yet.

"We'll sit down as a selection group and work out where we want to go," he said.

"We've obviously had a disappointing result. We'll let the dust settle, play the one-day series and then pick the side moving forward for Bangladesh and then the home summer."

Fans of the Baggy Green will be hoping for some more successful decisions than Lehmann and selector Rod Marsh made in England.

The call to replace all-rounder Mitch Marsh with batsman brother Shaun at Trent Bridge was close to inexplicable and was immediately reversed for the series finale.

Peter Siddle's exclusion for the first four games of the series looked even sillier when he produced the bowling display of the match in the fifth.

Even then he found Shane Warne lobbying against his inclusion on television, leaving Lehmann to face up to some awkward questions.

"Someone like Shane Warne always has his opinion because he loves an opinion full stop," he said.

"That's fine but he doesn't know what goes on behind the scenes and we'll keep it like that. I'll probably stop there.

"Peter bowled really well, I'm really pleased for him. Hats off to him, he was absolutely brilliant."

"We're not saying we pick out and out fast bowlers all the time, obviously it may seem that way, but we pick the best team to try and win every game."

Smith has already said he expects to be consulted on selection ahead of his first series in charge - a subtle change in tenor from the latter days under Clarke, when he studiously pointed out that was no longer part of his remit.

The feeling remains that Clarke did not always have his preferred XI - and reportedly favoured Pat Cummins over Siddle for his final match - but Lehmann refutes that.

"In my time I can't remember the captain not getting the side he wants," he said.

"Maybe once or twice, and that's whether I was playing, a state captain, a coach.

"I think the captain has a really important part to play and he's got to be really comfortable with the side he plays with. It's our job to pick that final XI but you always consult the captain, that's important."

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