Andy Flower vs. Darren Lehmann: Ranking the Two Ashes Coaches

Antoinette Muller@mspr1ntFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2013

Andy Flower vs. Darren Lehmann: Ranking the Two Ashes Coaches

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    The Ashes is over and while Andy Flower celebrates, Darren Lehmann has to get over the pain of losing the series 3-0.

    Flower will not comment on whether he will now consider stepping down from his day-to-day coaching position with England, while Lehmann must return to the drawing board and decide how to improve Australia.  

    While Flower is the quiet type, Lehmann is outspoken and happy to engage with whoever wants to have a chat. This isn't always good, though, and it has landed him in hot water once this series already—but more on that later.

    In the greater scheme of things, Flower trumps Lehmann, as he is the man with the winning team; but in some aspects, Lehmann did get the better of his opposite number.

    We've picked out some of the head-to-head battles they fought. 

Having Fun: AF 0 DL 1

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    Lehmann almost always had an earpiece when pictured on the balcony during the Ashes. This allowed him to tune into Sky's television commentary and even interact with the commentators. During the second Test, they asked him whether he would take the new ball—and he nodded.

    He almost always had a smile for the commentators, while Flower remained reserved and was hardly ever seen on the balcony. He was probably more interested in analysing the action.

    While cricket matches are not won by being fun and open, Lehmann did come across as the kind of person you'd rather go for a drink with at the end of a long day in the field.

Going for a Test Recall: AF 0 DL 2

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    Lehmann was pictured padded up and having a net before the Australians' warmup game at Hove early on in the tour. At the time, the joke was that perhaps Lehmann should be recalled due to Australia's constant failings.

    Australian batsman Ed Cowan had his say: "He just got out 18 times in the nets, so I hope he is not recalled."

    While Flower sometimes wields a bat himself, Lehmann again comes up trumps for his attempt at lightening the mood.

    Flower is also less likely to be tipped for a Test recall since he has a team of very competent players at his disposal. 

Inadvisable Interviews: AF 1 DL 2

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    Lehmann was fined 20 percent of his match fee by the ICC after he referred to Stuart Broad as a "blatant cheat" in a radio interview. He has since apologised for his comments.

    Broad himself said: "Spoke to Darren Lehmann last night. He apologised for his comments, I accepted it. He said they were made in jest for banter. Done."

    The station that got the coach all riled up, Triple M, will reportedly pay the fineThe comments created a big hullabaloo and while everybody has now kissed and made up, it should never have happened in the first place.

    Lehmann might have been joking, but he should have known better. The worst criticism Flower ever got was being called "prickly" by Jonathan Agnew for a post-match interview when England did not enforce the follow-on against New Zealand earlier this year. 

    Lehmann's approach to interviews and the press might be far more open than Flower's, but at least Flower doesn't land himself in trouble of this magnitude. 

Batting Bingo: AF 2 DL 2

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    Lehmann and his skipper Michael Clarke have played a little bit of batting bingo in this series, with the order changed for every match.

    That inconsistency in selection meant that very few players were able to settle down and find their identity within the team. 

    Clarke admitted after the series was lost that the batting was substandard, saying: "In these conditions, when the wickets deteriorate and the ball spins more, second innings are always difficult. But our first-innings batting needs to improve."

    Australia did have a first-innings lead in four out of the five Tests, but only passed 300 twice in the entire series.

    England, meanwhile, failed just twice to pass the 300 mark in completed innings. Even though they didn't get past 400 once, consistency saved them—and keeping faith in their batsmen, even if they were failing, played a massive part in winning the series.

Possessing the Best Smile: AF 2 DL 3

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    Flower managed to crack a smile after winning the Ashes. There is proof of that in one of the previous slides, while many people on Twitter also noted such an historic event.  

    Lehmann, on the other hand, is always smiling. 

    It doesn't matter if his team are in a spot of bother, or if he's forced to carry on the drinks during a warmup match.

    We're sure that Flower often smiles on the inside, but "Boof," as he is affectionately known, wins this battle hands down and sneaks overall victory in our silly coaching war.