Ashes: Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has faith in Darren Lehmann
Last Updated: 27/06/13 12:25pm
Darren Lehmann: Has been backed to succeed by Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting believes former Australia team-mate Darren Lehmann can raise team morale ahead of the Ashes after he was appointed as new head coach.
Lehmann has been handed the reins after Mickey Arthur was removed from the post ahead of the first Ashes Test, which gets under way at Trent Bridge on July 10.
And former skipper Ricky Ponting has praised the decision to appoint Lehmann.
"'Boof' has had a lot of success as a coach and even though I have never played under him I know exactly what he'll be like around the Australia team," Ponting wrote in his Daily Mail column.
Can Lehmann sort out the Aussies?
"He will bring calmness to the group, make sure they try to have fun and enjoy the experience of playing for Australia.
"Above all, he will instil confidence into the young guys in the team who seem to be lacking it at the moment.
"Will this decision affect the outcome of the Ashes? Well, only time will tell. Australia could have won the first Test under Mickey Arthur and equally they could win it under Darren Lehmann. What I do know is that they need to be aggressive and take England on now. They will under Boof."
Meanwhile Pointing insists the decision to axe Arthur had more to do with results than any off-the-field issues with the players.
There had been suggestions Arthur paid the price for disciplinary issues haunting the team, which included vice-captain Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Usman Khawaja being punished for failing to make a presentation on how the team could improve, an incident which became known as 'homework-gate'.
Opening batsman David Warner was also suspended from the team earlier this month after attacking England batsman Joe Root in a Birmingham bar.
While Ponting admits these issues would have not helped Arthur's cause to remain at the helm, the batsman thinks a 4-0 Test series defeat in India as well as a poor showing in the Champions Trophy were bigger factors in his shock dismissal.
"I had heard the vibes about the growing pressure on the Australia coach and the team, and after the run of results they've had I could understand that, but I was still surprised that Mickey Arthur's departure came about so quickly," said Ponting.
"The off-field problems in India, and the latest with David Warner, may not have helped, but the simple fact is results haven't been good enough. If you win, a lot of the stuff focusing on peripheral matters disappears.
"When I heard the news about Mickey I turned on the TV and the stats from his time in charge flashed up on the screen. It is the number of Test and ODI victories on his record that are relevant, not the way he dealt with Warner. Frankly, I'm not sure what more he could have done to avoid that particular incident with Joe Root happening anyway."