AUSSIES TO AVOID FIFTH STRAIGHT LOSS

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

SKIP­PER Steve Smith and his Aus­tralia team are un­der big pres­sure from South Africa and their own selec­tors as they try to bounce back from one of their worst los­ing streaks in the sec­ond Test at Ho­bart to­mor­row. The Aus­tralians sunk to a com­pre­hen­sive 177-run loss to the Proteas in the series opener in Perth with the team com­ing un­der heavy crit­i­cism over their ca­pit­u­la­tion. South Africa were miss­ing their in­flu­en­tial skip­per AB de Vil­liers and lost pace spear­head Dale Steyn with a series-end­ing shoul­der in­jury yet still out­played the home team. It was Aus­tralia’s first loss in an open­ing Test of their home sea­son in 28 years and they have now slumped to four straight de­feats after crash­ing in all three Tests on their July-Au­gust tour of Sri Lanka. “I would say ev­ery spot is un­der pres­sure,” Aus­tralian coach Dar­ren Lehmann ad­mit­ted, with Smith adding: “Ev­ery as­pect of our game needs im­prove­ment.” The last time Aus­tralia lost four Tests in a row in In­dia three years ago, then coach Mickey Arthur was sacked.

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