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Lehmann game for a beer and a smoke

Adelaide: Australia’s Shane Warne has shunned his unhealthy ways for wine and salad but his Test teammate Darren Lehmann still enjoys chewing over a day’s cricket with the occasional beer and a smoke.

Lehmann, 32, was recalled to the Test side for the first time since January 1999 when selectors dropped veteran Mark Waugh for the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane earlier this month.

The South Australia state captain will play his seventh Test on Thursday in the second match of the five-game series and his first on his home ground at Adelaide Oval.

It is a reward for self-belief and sheer weight of runs. The left-hander, who captained Yorkshire this year, has won the past three State Player of the year titles in the Australian inter-state four-day competition.

Lehmann was nicknamed ‘Boof’ for his bouffant hairstyle in his younger days. While the hair has gone — he is now fashionably bald — the diet has changed little and the moniker has also stuck.

“I still like those things about the game (socialising after the day’s play) but the important thing is winning cricket games,” Lehmann told a news conference on Tuesday.

“I don't mind what you do after hours or before, as long as you’ve prepared well enough to make runs or take wickets, that’s what it’s all about.”

Lehmann said he had fond memories of taking a day off school to watch Australia paceman Rodney Hogg take the fight to England in the 1978-79 series.

“I remember wagging school for a day to come to a Test match (in Adelaide),” Lehmann said.

“Rodney Hogg had a great series (41 wickets in six Tests) and I remember him steaming in to (Geoff) Boycott and that was my first memory of coming to watch Test cricket live.

“The expectations are obviously higher in your home state because everyone wants you to do well and the fans get behind you. But to play a Test at home is something you dream of.”

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