Lehmann has no intentions to make way for Clarke

Published: Monday, November 8, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Adelaide:Senior Australian batsman Darren Lehmann said he has no intention of giving up his place in the Australian side and wants to continue his Test career.

The 34-year-old left-hander arrived home on Monday from India, where a hamstring injury forced him out of the fourth Test in Bombay.

Lehmann said he had fully recovered and was available for the first Test against New Zealand, starting in Brisbane on November 18.

Lehmann last month said he was willing to stand aside in favour of outstanding young talent Michael Clarke.

On Monday he said it was up to the national selectors to pick the team.

"I said in India that if it was the case that Michael Clarke got the nod ahead of me, I would accept that and I'd have no problems with that," Lehmann told reporters.

"That hasn't changed. If he gets selected in the side ahead of me that's fine by me.

"So it really just depends on what they want. I'm hoping to play a lot more Test cricket still but there comes a time for change as well."

In India Lehmann scored just 132 runs at an average of 26 with a top score of 70 in Nagpur while Clarke topped the batting and bowling averages for Australia.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting has backed Lehmann to continue playing at the highest level.

"I know Darren Lehmann still has a lot of good Test cricket left in him but when someone like Michael performs as well as he did on the last tour he looks to be the future of Australian cricket," Ponting said on his arrival home on Sunday.

"It's going to be very hard work for the Australian selectors."

Lehmann will travel to Melbourne on Monday to testify in the committal hearing against bouncer Zdravko Micevic who is accused of killing former Test cricketer David Hookes.

Micevic, 22, faces charges of manslaughter and assault over Hookes' death outside a Melbourne hotel on January 18.

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