Australian coach, Darren Lehmann, has come out with a strong statement following his side's humiliating loss to the South Africans in the second Test match at Hobart. Darren Lehmann has sent out a clear message to his team by saying that only four players from the team that played in the Hobart Test are assured of a spot in the next Test at Adelaide.
Speaking at a post-match press conference on Tuesday, Lehmann said that he was looking to make quite a few changes for the third and final Test match. "There’ll definitely be change," Lehmann said. "We’ve got to stop the rot, we’ve got to work out what’s the best XI."
He further went on to state that the entire squad, with the exception of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, David Warner and Steven Smith will be sent to play the Sheffield Shield matches to prove their mettle in order to make a comeback for the third and final Test against the Proteas. "Hazlewood was great, Starc’s getting back to his best and then you’ve got Smith and Warner. Outside of that everyone’s got to make some runs and take some wickets. It’s a really important four days of Shield cricket. You’ve got to have an eye to the future as well," he said.
While several of the former cricketers have lashed out at Smith's men for their poor performance in the series so far, former Aussie skippers Ian Chappell and Ricky Ponting had a different opinion altogether. Both of them backed Smith and said that if anyone was to be blamed for the humiliation then it must be Rod Marsh, the head of the Australian cricket selection committee. They also lashed out at the Argus Review that was setup in 2011 citing that the idea only made it worse for Australian cricket as the skipper was deprived of the majority of his powers.
Earlier in the day, Steven Smith too mentioned about his disappointment with the team's dismal efforts in the first two Tests. He even went on to claim that he was pretty much embarrassed to face the media.
He also mentioned that he was expecting the selectors to make some changes to the squad for the third and final Test in order to make sure that he has the right set of players to deal with. "We need to do things a lot better than they are at Shield and Test level. After losing five Test matches, everything is going to be talked about. I dare say the selectors are going to be getting together and on a bit of a mission to change what’s been happening ... rightfully so," he stated.