Australian first innings wasn’t good enough, says Lehmann

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    Australia’s first innings was when it all started to go wrong in Ranchi, according to coach Darren Lehmann.

    Lehmann’s side must defuse the threat of India spinner Ravindra Jadeja on day five if they are to salvage a draw from the third Test.

    Jadeja claimed both wickets to fall in the 7.2 overs that India delivered late on day four, clean bowling vice-captain David Warner and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon.

    Steve Smith’s side will resume their second innings at 2-23 on Monday, still trailing by 129 runs. Left-arm spinner Jadeja will make life particularly difficult for Australia’s left-handers because of a rough patch that will ensure plenty of balls misbehave.

    Lehmann acknowledged it would be an immense challenge for his side to keep the series level at 1-1 ahead of the Dharamsala decider that starts on Saturday.

    The man who was part of Australia’s drought-breaking 2004 series win in India lamented the fact they were in such a position at all.

    Lehmann apportioned blame not to an attack that toiled for 210 overs but a batting order that managed 451 in the first innings after Smith won the toss and was stranded on 178 not out.

    “If anything it (the workload of the bowlers) heightens our first innings where we needed to bat a little bit longer,” Lehmann said.

    “It’s 500, 550 on those sort of wickets isn’t it? Bat for 150 overs plus.

    “We fell short by 50, 60 runs and 15 or 20 overs. That’s the challenge for the group to get there and make sure when they’re batting in those scenarios they go big, bigger.

    “That was the same issue with England (when they toured India recently and failed to win a Test).

    “Now we find ourselves in a position where we’ve got to fight hard on the last day to save the game.”

    Australia put down a couple of chances on day four, with Matthew Wade’s drop of Wriddhiman Saha on 51 by far the most costly.

    “Wadey kept really well on the whole … he’ll have a look at it and review it and see where he went wrong,” Lehmann said.

    “He’s been excellent throughout the whole series on difficult wickets.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • March 20th 2017 @ 9:04am
      Pope Paul VII said | March 20th 2017 @ 9:04am | ! Report

      maybe Daz’s selections weren’t good enough?

      • March 20th 2017 @ 9:54am
        George said | March 20th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report


        Maybe if Warner’s form/adaptability was ever questioned…

        • March 20th 2017 @ 11:32am
          Pope Paul VII said | March 20th 2017 @ 11:32am | ! Report

          Marsh and Handscomb also dodgy

    • March 20th 2017 @ 11:07am
      Rossy said | March 20th 2017 @ 11:07am | ! Report

      Said this since day 1, India were always going to go past us.

      Not enough runs.

    • March 20th 2017 @ 1:00pm
      Tanmoy Kar said | March 20th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

      Considering Australian batting line-up 451 was not a bad total they have accumulated. Ashwin has not got many wickets, Maxwell got a hundred, Smith got a big one, they both could have failed. Actually Indian batting line-up is too strong comparing to Australian one.

      • March 20th 2017 @ 1:12pm
        Rob JM said | March 20th 2017 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

        450 was a good score after being 4/140.
        The problem was the 4/140!

    • Roar Guru

      March 20th 2017 @ 4:24pm
      ThugbyFan said | March 20th 2017 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

      Newsflash, Boofa Lehmann states the bleedin obvious! The same could be said of the Australian 1st inning at Bengaluru, they scored about 180 runs in the 2nd day and finished the inning on 276. For mine they were far too conservative on that 2nd day’s batting and should have made at least 240. The bowling was good and tight but it wasn’t THAT good. The Aussie batsmen dug themselves into a hole to ensure they got past the Indian score. They should have scored at least 350 in that first inning which would have put India almost out of the reckoning.

      In this match, Rob JM has said it all, the 4-140 was the problem. After that 451 is a damned good score. I would bear with D.Warner but I think surely S.Marsh has got to go for U.Khawaja. The only reason that I would keep P.Handscomb is that he is a right hander.

      As for M.Wade’s keeping, well for mine all the predictions that he would spill/miss crucial catches and cost us the series are proving true. He missed a few at Bengaluru and C.Pujara and A.Rahane capitalised on those misses. Again here he missed a couple of catches and this time Pujara and W.Saha made merry. Yes some have been difficult but the man just misses too many off spin bowling. He also moves very poorly, if at all, to cover any slow balls pitching on or to leg. This has allowed heaps of runs scored down leg and more critically a couple of balls at catchable height flew past Wade because he moved far too late. Note to CA for the next tour to the SC: pick the best keeper in Australia who can handle spin bowling, not some log on the basis that he can bat a bit.

      Things look a mite grim for the next test. A few of the Aussies are looking worn out. On the better tracks, SOK is being shown up as a steady good length bowler with very little spin or variation in his armory, so the Indian batsmen are feeding on him. N.Lyon is by far a more dangerous bowler but his finger is causing him real problems. I am utterly amazed that Smith only allowed G.Maxwell 4 overs, yet flogged Lyon to death. Was Smith afraid that Maxwell might take a wicked and show him and Boofa up as geese? Australia may need to bite the bullet and swap one spinner for A.Agar (another SOK type bowler) or take a massive risk with M.Swepson if Lyon is wounded. Even worse, if P.Cummins pulls up too sore, J.Bird or M.Stoinis may have to replace him.

      • March 20th 2017 @ 6:44pm
        John Erichsen said | March 20th 2017 @ 6:44pm | ! Report

        Agree about how sparingly Smith used Maxwell, but Lyon wasn’t exactly flogged to death, unless you mean by the Indian batsmen. Lyon bowled 46 overs, only two more than Hazlewood and seven more than the fragile, wrap in cotton wool Cummins. Steve O’Keefe bowled 77 overs, so who got flogged?
        If Lyon’s finger is causing him grief, he shouldn’t be playing. Bird or Stoinis replacing an overdone Cummins makes little sense. They would be ok to replace Hazlewood, but if not picking a 145kph+ strike bowler, consider the benefits of a left arm quick.The rough outside off stump, utilised so perfectly by Jadeja, shows the value of rough patches on that dangerous “outside off stump” line. Let the Indian RH batsmen have to deal with the rough outside their off stump to our spinners also. Behrendorff is worth a plane ticket, given its a short turn around til the fourth test. He will provide a different angle across the Indian right handers, can move the ball around and is bowling well. I am sorry but Stoinis shouldn’t even be in India. He isn’t a front line bowler and is averaging 15 in Shield this season. Yet another moment of Aussie selection lunacy.
        As for our batting, Warner’s performances this series should have him joining Khawaja on the “we don’t dare select him in India” list. For Khawaja, its a fear of what he might struggle with. For Warner, its the reality of what he has struggled with. We lose nothing in trying Khawaja in the next test, especially if we don’t save this game today.

        • Roar Guru

          March 20th 2017 @ 9:16pm
          ThugbyFan said | March 20th 2017 @ 9:16pm | ! Report

          Hi John, pretty much agree but my above post was more in what we have over there. My saying that Lyon had been flogged (by S.Smith) was in so far that his finger would be screaming with pain in dry dusty weather and he couldn’t get his normal revs on the ball. There is a real chance that Lyon will not be able to play the last test, so its likely that A.Agar or M.Swepson plays. Or Smith swallows pride, brings J.Bird in and plays Maxwell and SOK as spinners. That’s a pretty horrible thought tbh. Maybe go for the leggie as this Aussie team at the moment has no Mitch playing and surely that isn’t as nature intended. 🙂

          I am with you on J.Behrendorf as a future Aussie pace bowler. I would love him as a replacement for P.Cummins, to be sure he would be a far better bet in Aussie colours than Billy “WHO?” Stanlake who, to be kind, was just not up to it. But Behrendorf is not in India, is untried in test matches and as far as I know has never been to India, plus the next match starts on Saturday. There just isn’t enough time, so I opined that if Cummins falls in a heap then his replacement would likely be J.Bird (top bowler but no pace and cannot bat) or M.Stoinis who I agree with you should not even be in India.

          As I type this, S.Marsh has played the inning of his life and has put on a 50 to save Aussie in the 3rd test. Same with P.Handscomb. So lock both of them in for the 4th test. Then its a choice between D.Warner or U.Khawaja. Warner did get a 78 or so on the last tour of India but he is having a horror tour this time round. I guess Uzzy has “Reserve player, Only open if a 1-4 batman falls over” stamped on his passport.

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