Lehmann warns Aussies

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

coach Dar­ren Lehmann warned his wounded squad “every spot is un­der pres­sure” for the sec­ond Test this week­end af­ter their ca­pit­u­la­tion to South Africa in Perth.

The Proteas won the open­ing Test by 177 runs af­ter poor bat­ting and string of dropped catches con­signed Australia to a fourth suc­ces­sive Test de­feat. They lost all three Tests on their July-Au­gust tour of Sri Lanka.

Opener Shaun Marsh has al­ready been ruled out of the sec­ond Test in Ho­bart from Satur­day with a bro­ken fin­ger, with Joe Burns ex­pected to take his place.

The un­capped Cal­lum Fer­gu­son has also been drafted into the squad with Adam Vo­ges un­der an in­jury cloud, while pace­man Joe Men­nie, 12th man in Perth, could get his chance with Peter Sid­dle strug­gling with a sore back.

Depend­ing on the Ho­bart con­di­tions, spin­ner Nathan Lyon could be a ca­su­alty af­ter he failed to take a wicket in South Africa’s sec­ond in­nings at a cost of 146 runs.

“I would say every spot is un­der pres­sure,” said Lehmann, who is aware that the last time Australia lost four in a row, then coach Mickey Arthur got the chop. “That’s the na­ture of the beast if you don’t have suc­cess,” he added. Cap­tain Steve Smith (pix) is also un­der heavy scru­tiny with Aus­tralian me­dia blast­ing the team as a shadow of its for­mer self with the skip­per tak­ing plenty of flak. The Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald yes­ter­day trum­peted “Un-Aus­tralian: Sorry de­cline of Smith’s team is shock­ing”, while The Aus­tralian broad­sheet said: “Hot breath of dis­con­tent on cap­tain Smith’s neck.” “Dar­ren Lehmann and Steve Smith are now un­der un­prece­dented pres­sure as the heads of Aus­tralian cricket fol­low­ing the hu­mi­la­tion at the WACA,” said Syd­ney’s Daily Tele­graph cricket writer Ben Horne. “Australia have now slumped to four straight Test de­feats and his­tory sug­gests that when the Test side has en­tered this kind of los­ing red zone in the past, the men in charge cop the full ex­tent of the fall­out.” – Agen­cies

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