Australia coach Darren Lehmann says his team has to bat better and assess conditions properly after being skittled for 85 all out by South Africa on day one of the second Australia v South Africa Test in Hobart.
Australia’s poor summer looked to continue in the Tasmanian capital after South Africa captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and sent the hosts in to bat, and a meagre capitulation with the willow frustrated Lehmann.
Lehmann told Grandstand that while South Africa bowled really well, the collapse provided untimely reminders of how the team folded in its first innings in Perth.
“Conditions were perfect to bowl this morning, it was a tough toss to lose. But you’ve got to be better than that, you’ve got to refine your game a little bit,” he said.
“We spoke about that before the game, holding your shape and making them bowl to you, but they did bowl some good balls to be fair.
“It’s something we’ve just got to keep getting better at, there’s not much else you can say apart from the fact that we weren’t good enough today with the bat.”
Lehmann admits it will be hard to win the second Australia v South Africa test after its first innings rout, but says the Proteas showed the world how to come back from a seemingly impossible situation in the series opener.
“Yes it is hard. For us it’s a case of getting these five wickets and batting big in the second innings,” he said.
“It’s almost like it’s a reversal from Perth where it was South Africa who was a bowler down and we were 0-158, so we’ve gotta do that to them come tomorrow.”
He also decried the batting line-up’s inability to hang around with Steve Smith (48 not out), while David Warner’s wasteful dismissal early on proved particularly grating.
“We’ve got to be more resilient than that,” Lehmann said.
“David Warner got out first over, that was disappointing. He plays that way, but he could probably sum up the conditions a little bit better. I know we’ve talked about that a few times in the past.
“The run out doesn’t help at this level, a couple of good balls, then the tail’s got to stick in as well as all the batters. It’s a whole effort from us, we just didn’t play well enough today.”
Starc gives Australia some hope
There was a fightback from the Australian bowlers as Mitchell Starc (3-49) helped restrict South Africa to 5-171 – a lead of 86 runs – and they will be hoping for early wickets on day two, assuming the rains don’t prevent play.
Lehmann praised his bowlers, who were able to extract similar movement off the pitch that the South Africans enjoyed.
“I thought they were pretty good because the wicket actually did play a little bit better,” he said.
“After tea it nibbled around a little bit. The wicket had obviously plenty in it this morning. Would’ve been nice to win the toss, we didn’t do that, so our bowling effort wasn’t too bad to be fair.
“[We’re feeling] disappointment, more than anything, they’re hurting obviously because you don’t want to play like that, especially at home.
“To be bowled out for 85 is not good enough. We know that. It’s about regrouping as best you can tomorrow and getting back into the game.
“I thought the wickets tonight were fantastic to keep us in the hunt and now it’s a case of knocking the five over really quickly, but they’re down as you would expect.”
Online Source: ABC.net.au.