Melbourne: Australian coach Darren Lehman has slammed his side’s disappointing performance by describing it as `not up to the international standard` after the Steve Smith-led side face the prospect of series loss against Sri Lanka on Day Three of the ongoing second Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.
Responding to Sri Lanka’s first innings score of 281, Australia were crippled by inept batting as they were bundled out for a record low of 106 after starting day two’s play at 54-2.
Australia then lost three quick second-innings wickets in the half-hour before stumps on the second day as they remained clearly baffled by Sri Lanka’s spin.
“Not up to international standard, the way we played today. I can’t complain about the preparation from the lads, and the work ethic. But it gets down to the pressure in the middle in a Test match, and being able to cope with it and at the moment we haven’t,” Lehmann was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
The 46-year-old coach further admitted that there was an immediate need of improvement in the performance of some players in the team.
“Certainly some blokes have got to have a look at themselves and how they want to go about it in these conditions and how they want to succeed,” he said.
The only players who seem to have provided Australia with some fight back were fast bowler Mitchell Starc, who has picked up 17 wickets in the series so far and his new-ball partner Josh Hazlewood who has scalped seven wickets.
On the other hand, Australian top-order batsmen have struggled as prolific players David Warner, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja and Adam Voges all averaged less than 25 in the three match series.
Skipper Steve Smith was the lone player to date to have posted a half-century in Australia’s three completed innings.
Issuing a blunt message to his under-performing players, Lehman said, “We’ve got to make sure we get the players doing what they’re supposed to be doing, and if they’re not then we’ll have to find blokes who are going to.”
At the time of reporting, Australia still require another 329 runs with five wickets remaining as Voges (seven*) and Mitchell Marsh (two*) are still struggling to keep their side alive in the series.
Australia are currently trailing 1-0 in the series following their massive defeat by 106 runs against the hosts in the opening match at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. (ANI)