Australia coach predicts fiesty India ODI series

Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann speaks to journalists in Melbourne on December 30, 2015, after Australia defeated the West Indies in the second Test match in four days. Lehmann said Australia were still weighing up selection options ahead of the final Test starting Sunday in Sydney, with bowler Peter Siddle notably carrying an ankle injury. / AFP / WILLIAM WEST
Australian cricket coach Darren ©AFP

Australia’s upcoming one-day campaign against India should be as feisty as ever, coach Darren Lehmann said Friday, adding the dynamic would be a good challenge for his young squad.

Asked about the mood of the five-match ODI series, which gets under way at Perth’s WACA ground on Tuesday, Lehmann said he expected it would be “the same” as previous ones.

“They (India) are playing an aggressive brand of cricket as well so I don’t see that changing over the next five games,” he told reporters in Perth.

“India play the same way, so it’s going to be an exciting series.”

Matches in the past have seen tempers flare, with umpires intervening in Adelaide in 2014 as players exchanged terse words and pointed fingers at each other.

The Perth game will be the first time top-ranked Australia have faced India since beating them in the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup in Sydney last March.

Lehmann said he was sure his 13-man squad — including uncapped fast bowlers Scott Boland and Joel Paris — would handle the situation well given their experience with big crowds and the pressures of domestic T20 cricket.

“So they’ll be used to that now, which is a good thing for us,” he said.

“International cricket is another step up for them, but I’m sure they’ll handle it well. It will be a good challenge for them.”

Lehmann said he was hoping for “a good, fast, bouncy track” in Perth ahead of matches in Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

“They (India) are a good one-day side, they made the semis of the World Cup — they’re a quality side,” the coach said.

“So from our point of view, we’ve got to play well and start well against them.”