Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has backed new coach Darren Lehmann to instill confidence in the team and get winning results.
Lehmann replaced Mickey Arthur after Cricket Australia sacked the South African as coach on Monday. A string of lackluster performances from the team including an unimpressive showing in Champions Trophy is believed to have led to the change, just a little over two weeks before the Ashes. (Also read: Double blow for Arthur, loses mother after being sacked)
Ponting though reckons that Lehmann is a capable mentor and as head coach, he will help players fight without fear. "Above all, he will instill confidence into the young guys in the team who seem to be lacking it at the moment," wrote the 38-year-old in his column for The Daily Mail.
While several experts feel that the change is a sign that the national team is in tatters with losses and disciplinary issues galore, Ponting writes that the players have appeared scared while on the field. "It's hard to judge from afar but they seem to have been too scared to play the way they can," he wrote. "I honestly believe this move is all to do with the level of Australia's performances. 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." (Related read: Watson will open in Ashes, says Lehmann)
Winning the Ashes - starting from July 10 in England - can help the Australian side regain focus and maintain composure. While Ponting though says Lehmann can get the best out of the players, he also feels that the Australian side needs to come together as a team. "Whether there are any (divisions) now I really couldn't say. But everybody involved has to take responsibility for this and that includes the players. There is only so much the coach can do. Once the players step over that line it is down to them and our displays clearly haven't been up to scratch."