Aus­tralia’s batting in cri­sis: Lehmann

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

HO­BART:

Coach Dar­ren Lehmann has voiced con­cern about Aus­tralia’s batting lineup af­ter a cat­a­strophic dis­play in which the hosts were bowled out for 85 by South Africa on the first day of the sec­ond test in Ho­bart yes­ter­day.

Ver­non Phi­lan­der and Kyle Ab­bott made the most of over­cast skies and a mois­ture­laden pitch, pick­ing up eight wick­ets be­tween them to wrap up Aus­tralia’s in­nings in less than two-and-a-half hours.

Lehmann, who in­di­cated that rad­i­cal changes to the team may be needed, was asked by re­porters if he thought Aus­tralia were in a batting cri­sis.

“When you get bowled out for 85, it prob­a­bly is, isn’t it?” he said.

Only two Aus­tralian bats­men reached dou­ble fig­ures, pace bowler Joe Men­nie mak­ing 10 and skip­per Steve Smith a gritty 48 not out.

Lehmann said it was time the se­lec­tors re­assessed their op­tions.

“We be­lieve this is the best squad we’ve got to play. On to­day’s per­for­mance you’d say we’ve got to change,” the for­mer left­handed bats­man added. “We had seen it all be­fore, but that didn’t make it any eas­ier to be­lieve it was hap­pen­ing again, this time on home soil.”

Lehmann said the per­for­mance brought back mem­o­ries of the fourth Ashes test of 2015, when tourists Aus­tralia were bowled out for 60 in their first in­nings by Eng­land in Not­ting­ham.

Satur­day’s de­ba­cle rep­re­sented Aus­tralia’s sec­ond-worst start in a home test when batting first since they lost six wick­ets for 31 against Eng­land in Bris­bane in 1978.

Aus­tralia’s last tour ended in a 3-0 se­ries drub­bing by Sri Lanka and they were beaten by 177 runs by South Africa in the first test of the cur­rent three-match se­ries.

“Even four tests ago (when) we were num­ber one. Now, we’re way away from that,” Lehmann added. Mitchell Starc and Josh Ha­zle­wood picked up two wick­ets each as South Africa reached 171 for five at stumps. — Reuters

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