Graeme Swann's retirement from all cricket in the middle of the Ashes has surprised hosts Australia as much as anyone.
Swann has decided that, . As England lost the Ashes in Perth, where Australia took an unassailable 3-0 lead, the over which has turned out to be Swann's last was dispatched for 22 runs by a rampant Shane Watson.
Even so, Australia coach was taken aback to hear the England off-spinner has called time on his outstanding career.
"It was a bit of a surprise," he said, on his arrival in Melbourne for the Boxing Day Test. "He's been a great cricketer for England over many years, so I wish him all the best in retirement.
"It's mid-tour – I don't know what's going on – but obviously he's decided he's had enough. So congratulations on a great career - he'll go home as one of the England greats. Obviously he feels the time is right, and that's his decision."
Swann's rationale is that he is simply not able to bowl as he used to. , and has not been helped either by an absence of competitive first-innings scores by England – which has made all their bowlers especially vulnerable second time round.
"If senior players can't contribute how they like, that would be their decision," added Lehmann. "It's always tough mid-tour, but he's been a great bowler for England and has decided enough is enough and to move forward in his life.
"England are obviously going to go down the Monty Panesar path for the next two Tests, so it is a challenge for our blokes to change the way we play against left-arm spin."
Swann is the second senior English player to leave the tour, with Jonathan Trott going home a month ago because of a stress-related illness but Lehmann said Australia have no intention of releasing the pressure on the tourists.
"To have two senior guys not play, that's maybe an advantage, but also younger guys get a chance," Lehmann said. "I only worry about us. That's how we deal with it and that's all we can do.
"I'm sure they weren't worried about us last time either [when Australia lost 3-0 earlier this year in England]. They have a good coach and good support staff – I'm sure they'll work through all those issues."
Australia bowler Ryan Harris also expressed surprise at Swann's retirement. "I don't know what to say, I thought he'd bowled OK in the series, just without luck I guess," said Harris. "I feel that we've played him very well too.
"Something's obviously not quite right with him, or he's fulfilled whatever he wanted to do, but to me that's a huge shock."