We failed to adapt to conditions: Darren Lehmann

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We failed to adapt to conditions: Darren Lehmann

As the Australian tactlessness was exposed, five to six Australian wickets — in two innings — fell to straight deliveries bowled by the Pakistani spinners on Sunday.

By Sunil K. Vaidya (sports Editor)

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Published: Tue 28 Oct 2014, 1:41 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 7:10 PM

Dubai: The team’s failure to adapt to the conditions in Dubai left the Australian coach, Darren Lehmann, red faced as television cameras panned on his sullen face in the dressing room when Pakistan closed in on their 221-run win on Sunday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

The coach had all the rights to be furious with the manner in which his team went on their knees on a Sunday on a wicket, which was good enough for batting if one applied tactfully, but he showed no signs of anger at a media briefing after the match.

As the Australian tactlessness was exposed, five to six Australian wickets — in two innings — fell to straight deliveries bowled by the Pakistani spinners on Sunday. This was not the first time Lehman was watching his boys succumb to straighter balls. It was in August last year when Stuart Broad claimed 11 wickets, more with straighter than swinging deliveries for England’s 74-run win that gave them the Ashes at the Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street.

Considering the fact that the Aussies had not learnt their lessons, Lehmann appeared considerably calm and composed while fielding media questions with a straight bat. “The wicket here was different, it was very good wicket but we didn’t adapt well and didn’t play well,” he stated matter-of-factly.

He confessed that his batsmen had failed to read the game and continued to play for the turn that wasn’t. “When you are talking about learning how to play in these conditions we got beaten on the other side – probably with less spin. We thought it would spin more. We missed a lot of straight balls, I think five or six dismissals throughout the game,” the Australian coach said.

He had an advise for his batsmen that he shared with the media while replying to a question. “We have to get better at hitting the straight ball, watching the ball for a start, but they are things the guys will work on,” he assured.

In his opinion the wickets in the UAE were certainly different than those (wickets) the Australians played on elsewhere in 2013. “They are better wickets here.”

Lehmann reiterated that the team must understand that there will be pitches here without any turn. “We have to understand that a lot of the wickets are going to have no spin, so maybe we are trying to play for things that aren’t there.”

He refused to blame his twin-spin attack for their failure to take wickets. “I am not worried about spin bowlers.” Instead, he felt that the batsmen needed to do more. “We were disappointing with the bat, weren’t we? We have to find a way to get through that and make big scores. One of the things we haven’t done on the subcontinent is make big scores. We need to start piling it (runs) on. We should have made 450-500 on that wicket.”

He had a word of advise for his team after their second successive Test at the hand of Pakistan. “If you are a very good cricket side, find a way to get out of any situation, which we didn’t do,” he pointed out as a reason for the defeat.

Lehmann laughed and said: “No,” in reply to a question about possibility of getting faster wicket for the second Test in Abu Dhabi. “With Mitchell Johnson in our side, I don’t expect bounce and pace in Abu Dhabi,” he said with a big grin. But one thing he was sure about: “We need to pick our side and level the series.”

sunilvaidya@khaleejtimes.com



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