Cricket - Lehmann wants further improvement

Darren Lehmann believes Australia's NatWest Series victory can give them some momentum heading into the return Ashes contest Down Under.

PA Sport
Cricket - Lehmann wants further improvement

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Darren Lehmann hopes Australia can build on their ODI series win over England

The tourists ended a woeful campaign in England with some overdue joy on Monday as a 49-run win in the fifth and final one-day international at the Ageas Bowl ensured a 2-1 series success.

While that will fail to hide the shortcomings of a 3-0 defeat in the Tests, Australia coach Lehmann wants to use it as a springboard to greater things, with an ODI series in India and the Ashes on the immediate agenda.

"I am really pleased with the way they played throughout the one-day tournament even though we had a few rain-affected games, but I thought we played pretty well," he said.

"It gives us some confidence and we can go home and get back into the Indian one-day series and then the Ashes."

Despite the humbling Ashes scoreline, Australia proved more than competitive on these shores and had genuine chances of victory in four of the five Tests.

While Lehmann acknowledged their deficiencies in some areas, the former batsman is full of optimism ahead of the return series, which gets under way on November 21 in Brisbane.

"We are very confident but we know we have got to improve in some areas - especially with the bat," he said.

"The way we played, especially in the last three Tests, we were very, very good except for two hours in Durham. We just need to be consistent and grab the big moments and we know that.

"Everyone says it was a close series but we still ended up losing 3-0. It was closer than people think but at the end the result was 3-0 so we have got to improve.

"We know the conditions at home will probably suit us better than England but we have got to play better cricket."

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