Who next for Australia? Five contenders to succeed Darren Lehmann

Australia's beleaguered cricket team requires a new head coach, with Darren Lehmann having announced he will stand down following the fourth Test against South Africa in Johannesburg.

Lehmann, who has overseen two home Ashes victories and a 2015 Cricket World Cup triumph, confirmed his resignation on Thursday in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal that has rocked Australian cricket in recent days.

While the 48-year-old was found to have had no knowledge of the plan that led to Cameron Bancroft attempting to alter the condition of the ball during the third Test in Cape Town, Lehmann has nevertheless chosen to leave his post after seeing three of his players - Steve Smith, David Warner and Bancroft - receive lengthy bans from Cricket Australia.

We look at five potential candidates to replace Lehmann, who has served as Australia's coach since 2013.

 

Justin Langer

The man widely touted as favourite to succeed Lehmann. A veteran of 105 Tests for his country, Langer has impressed in coaching roles with Western Australia and Perth Scorchers - winning three Big Bash League crowns with the latter - and has previously stepped in to lead the national side on two occasions to allow Lehmann a rest.

Ricky Ponting

'Punter' captained the side for six years and is comfortably his country's most prolific run scorer, his 13,378 putting him more than 2,000 clear of the next man, Allan Border. He assisted Langer in a Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka in February last year, and previously spent time as coach of Mumbai Indians in the IPL, guiding them to the title in 2015. He is aiming to repeat that success this time around with Delhi Daredevils.

Jason Gillespie

Another former player who enjoyed a stellar career donning the Baggy Green, Gillespie has gone on to prove himself a highly successful coach. His five seasons at Yorkshire included back-to-back County Championship titles in 2014 and 2015, before his Adelaide Strikers outfit earned their maiden BBL triumph in January. During his last season at Headingley, Gillespie - now at Sussex - played down the notion that he could become Lehmann's successor, but two years on that looks a much more realistic prospect.

Tom Moody

Moody has held a number of coaching roles since retiring in 2001, after an international career which saw him make 76 ODI appearances and pick up eight Test caps. Highlights on his coaching CV include guiding Sri Lanka to the 2007 World Cup final and overseeing Sunrisers Hyderabad's first IPL success in 2016. Up against the likes of Langer, Ponting and Gillespie, perhaps an outside bet for the role. Which brings us nicely to...

Trevor Bayliss

The only one of our quintet never to have represented Australia at international level, and currently in charge of famous old foes England, having crossed the Ashes divide. Succeeded Moody with Sri Lanka and, like his predecessor, oversaw a defeat in a World Cup final. Won both BBL and IPL crowns in 2012 and, after joining England in May 2015, enjoyed Ashes success against the nation of his birth that year. Away thumpings at the hands of India and Australia have blighted his record somewhat, while he has previously confirmed he plans to leave at the end of his deal in September 2019. Would he be willing to negotiate an early exit from his England contract?

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