Australia retain same squad for Hobart Test
Australia will play an unchanged side in the second test against South Africa at Hobart, irrespective of the result of the ongoing test match at the WACA, Australia’s head coach Darren Lehmann said on Sunday.
At lunch on day four in Perth, Australia find themselves under the cosh after South Africa batted brilliantly in the second innings, taking a lead of 506 runs. Australia earlier bowled out the Proteas for 242 in the first innings with Mitchell Starc picking 4 wickets, but a middle-order collapse meant they were bundled out for 244 after David Warner provided them with an explosive start to their innings.
Paceman Vernon Philander and debutant spinner Keshav Maharaj shined for the South Africans with the ball, after Dale Steyn injured his shoulder, which led him to be ruled out of the Test series completely. The Proteas batsmen then took it upon themselves to correct the wrongs from day one, as JP Duminy and Dean Elgar scored wonderful centuries on the third day helping their team garner a huge second-innings lead.
Speaking to ABC Radio, coach Lehmann said, "We spoke about that, probably not playing their natural games at times, especially to the left-arm spinner getting the field back."
"So we probably were a bit too timid at times and not looking to score and rotate the strike. Having said that they did bowl well, and we didn't counter it well enough,” Lehmann said, talking about his team’s failure with the bat.
He further added, "They do all the prep, they're great young men, they're trying to do as well as they can for Australia each and every time, it's just a case of little mental lapses at times. Collectively we're always pretty positive, but stats will show we haven't batted as well as we would have liked the last few Test matches. There's no hiding the fact we've got to bat better.”
"There's always pressure when you're coaching your country or playing for the country, that's why the guys have got to where they've got to. They've been brilliant doing all the work behind the scenes and playing at the level below, now they've got to do it at this level. There's always pressure whether you win or lose, a lot less when you're winning."
The Hobart Test which is scheduled to begin on November 12 will provide an opportunity to the retained players to justify their selection and cement their places, ahead of what is a very long summer of cricket for the Aussies.
Squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, John Hazelwood, Nathan Lyon, Joe Mennie.