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Lehmann hopes rest on Mark

Adelaide: Perennial Test hopeful Darren Lehmann is keen to be selected for next month’s Ashes series against England but admits Australia will find it tough to dump Mark Waugh.

Lehmann returned to Adelaide from Sharjah on Wednesday after travelling with Steve Waugh’s squad for the three-Test series against Pakistan which Australia won 3-0.

“Everyone’s dream is to play in an Ashes Test series,” Lehmann told reporters. “Hopefully if I get a chance I can play well. It’s really up to me to make as many (runs) as I can before that first Test.

“But Mark Waugh’s been a great servant as well, so it’s a tough call. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”

Lehmann, who has made 228 runs at 28.50 in five Tests, has not won a cap since January 1999 in Sydney where he made 32 and 0 in the fifth Test of England’s Ashes tour.

The 32-year-old left-hander, who captained Yorkshire in the recent England County season, has dominated Australian interstate cricket, winning the past three State Player of the Year titles.

The long and decorated careers of the 37-year-old Waugh twins Steve and Mark in Australia’s middle order have helped keep Lehmann out of the Test side, although Mark’s poor series against Pakistan (80 runs at 20.00 in three Tests) has increased pressure on him.

Mark hit two centuries in last year’s Ashes series for a total of 20 career tons but has not reached three figures since and his average has dropped to 41.81 in 128 matches, although it is 50.09 including six centuries in 29 matches against England.

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