World Cup is too long, says Australia coach Lehmann

Posted on 18th Feb 2015 05:55 pm by mohit kumar

Brisbane, Feb 18 (IANS) Australian coach Darren Lehmann Wednesday claimed that the breaks between his team's matches at the World Cup are too long, suggesting that the tournament could be "condensed".

Lehmann's side are in the middle of a seven-day gap between their opening pool game against England, and their next match against Bangladesh in Brisbane Saturday, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

The team's third clash - against New Zealand in Auckland - is a further week later, with breaks of four days, four days and six days scheduled between their last four encounters during the preliminary stage.

The group phase of the event spans 30 days, although just 42 matches will be played across Australia in New Zealand in that period.

Lehmann, looking to become the fourth man to coach Australia to World Cup triumph argued that the gaps were excessive.

"I think we can condense the tournament a little bit to be honest. A week in between is a long time," Lehmann said.

"I'm not sure how they do it with all the media rights and all that."

Lehmann acknowledged, however, that the spread-out schedule ensured teams would not need to rest players from games.

With captain Michael Clarke set to return against Bangladesh, and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh firing, Lehmann was asked whether Shane Watson was at risk of being squeezed from the Australian line-up.

Lehmann said he wanted his entire squad fit and firing, which would in turn lead to selection dilemmas.

"Mitchell Marsh doing really well, that puts pressure not just on Shane Watson but a lot of people. With Michael coming back, if he's fit he's going to play so we're going to have to make a tough decision."

The coach said he was conscious of the widespread criticism directed at Watson, but that ultimately Australia would pick its best side for each game of the campaign.

"But at the end of the day you have to make the right call for that particular game. Bangladesh on Saturday, that's what we're focused on and we'll work out what the best XI is," he said.

"With overcast conditions we might play a different way, and it depends on the wicket."

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