Lehmann still fuming over green monster

BEN HORNE
Last updated 07:45 06/01/2014

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Wrapping up an Ashes clean-sweep inside three days might have been a sweet feeling for Australia, but coach Darren Lehmann was still left fuming at the preparation of a green monster at the SCG.

Lehmann brought along a celebratory beer to the post-series press conference but said he felt sorry for fans that the fifth Test couldn't go anywhere near the distance due to the treacherous state of the pitch.

England's fragile batsmen lasted just 90 overs at the crease across their two innings, but Lehmann was blaming a fiery Sydney pitch rather than the incompetence of the opposition for inducing a rare three-day Test.

Australia lost 5-97 and 4-91 in their two digs and England were all out for 155 and then 166.

Lehmann was furious when he first saw the wicket on New Years Day and the constant flurry of wickets did nothing to change his mind even if the conditions did assist Australia's blazing pace attack.

"Three-day Test match, how do you reckon I'd assess (the wicket)? Words would get me in trouble here," Lehmann said.

"It's disappointing. Last year was the same, we sent Sri Lanka in (in a four-day match).

"The SCG I remember was a good wicket and spun days four and five so hopefully we can get back to that at some stage.

"Finishing in three days is disappointing for the crowd more than anything else."

SCG curator Tom Parker predicted the wicket would be fair for both sides before the Test started - despite the obvious green tinge.

Fast bowling great Glenn McGrath said he had no issue with the amount of grass

"There's no such thing," he said in television commentary, even though day three's Jane McGrath Day was at one stage under serious danger of not taking place after England's dramatic collapse early on day two.

It's unlikely Cricket Australia and Cricket NSW power brokers were impressed after refunds had to be given to the thousands who had tickets for day four.

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- AAP

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