Lehmann urges Clarke to 'sort out' differences with Ponting to focus on Ashes

Sydney, Nov 15 (ANI): Australian coach Darren Lehmann has urged captain Michael Clarke to 'sort out' any differences that he might have with former captain Ricky Ponting so that he is mentally prepared for a career-defining Ashes campaign.

Clarke has endured a turbulent build-up to the first Test starting Thursday, with former skipper Ponting claiming in his new book that his one-time deputy sometimes failed to buy into the team culture, which sparked a debate among Test greats on the merits of Clarke's contribution to Australian cricket

According to News.com.au, Lehmann has spoken privately with Clarke, keeping in mind that the Australian side needs its most important player fully focused on orchestrating an Ashes stunner, as he does not want petty off-field distractions to derail Australia's on-field objectives.

Hoping that Clarke can put aside the external criticism to worry solely about toppling England, Lehmann said that he just wants Clarke to focus on the game and sort out any differences he has with Ponting as he is the best player in the world.

Clarke has endured a poor home summer during England's most recent tour in 2010-11, scoring just 193 runs at 21.44 as England celebrated a 3-1 series victory, the report added. (ANI)