Darren Lehmann hopes to change Deccan Chargers’ fortunes

Former Australia batsman Darren Lehmann, who has been roped in as coach of Indian Premier League side Deccan Chargers, feels he can change the fortunes of the team which finished last in the first edition of the Twenty20 league last year.

Lehmann will be teaming up with former Australia teammate Adam Gilchrist as he bids to graduate into an international coach.

Deccan Chargers, touted one of the favourites in the IPL with explosive batsmen like Andrew Symonds, Shahid Afridi, Herschelle Gibbs and Gilchrist, won just two of their 14 games that resulted in coach Robin Singh being shown the door and VVS Laxman dropped from captaincy.

“There was a lot of negative feeling around the team last year,” said Lehmann, aware of Afridi’s criticism of Laxman’s dour leadership.

“We are trying to turn it around – before I even get there – into a positive feel through the players and coaching staff. I want to gel the group to become closer and play a better brand of cricket than last season.

“I think Gilly is sick of me ringing him but we are planning for a positive and fluent IPL side,” Lehmann was quoted as saying by The Advertiser.

Lehmann feels a sound performance with the Deccan Chargers would enhance his ultimate desire to become Australia’s coach.

“The ambition is certainly there. It will be a stepping stone to becoming a full-time coach at a state or international level down the track. That is, if a job comes up,” said the 2004 Wisden Cricketer of the Year who signed with the Hyderabad-based team for three years.

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