MELBOURNE: Australia pacer Mitchell Starc has said that his side has been a “closer” team since former head coach Mickey Arthur made way for Darren Lehmann.
Now directing Pakistan, Arthur is keen to steer the south Asians to a win against his old team when the three-Test series which starts in Brisbane on Thursday.
Starc was never able to cement his position in the Test side during Arthur’s 19-month tenure from 2011-13, and said Australia were a better team under his successor Lehmann.
“I didn’t have too much time with him … he obviously had his different theories,” Starc told local media in Brisbane on Sunday. “He was a nice guy. Our team has changed immensely since he’s been put out of the job … we’re a lot closer.”
The pacer added: “Lehmann obviously brought his own coaching theories and concepts. The group has obviously changed personnel-wise as well, so we’ve developed massively as a squad since the time of Mickey Arthur, and I think all for the better.”
Arthur was sacked three weeks before the 2013 Ashes, after a breakdown of team discipline during the 4-0 series loss away to India and later in England.
Australia have lost five of their last six Tests to put Lehmann under pressure, but Starc said the straight-talking former Test batsman was the right man to guide a rebuilding team which blooded four debutants in their last match against South Africa.
“Arthur probably rode the game a little bit more and I think at times found it hard to watch,” Starc said of the South Africa’s coaching. “But Lehmann instils a lot of confidence in you. He’s got that laid-back, old-school attitude but doesn’t sugar-coat anything. That’s what this young group needs as well … some hard truths sometimes.”