Lehmann baffled by straight ball dismissals
Australia coach Darren Lehmann was left baffled by his batsmen in the first Test against Pakistan in Dubai, pondering how they got out to straight deliveries rather than the more typical spinning balls.
Australia’s reputation for playing spin is poor, but Lehmann was astonished by how many of his players got out to deliveries that failed to turn at all, which saw Pakistan win by 221 runs.
Zulfiqur Babar and Yasir Shah were the primary wicket-takers, but the deck was hardly a death trap, as Pakistan showed as they scored four centuries, with Younis Kahn making two of those.
Lehmann said after the defeat: “This is a very good cricket wicket and we didn’t adapt well enough and didn’t play well enough.
“When you are talking about learning how to play in these conditions we got beaten on the other side – with less spin. You would think it would spin more. We got beaten with straight balls, I think five or six dismissals throughout the game.
“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. Have we learnt anything? I think as long as you are learning all the time.
“The wickets are certainly different than those wickets I saw in 2013, they are better wickets here.”
He added: “We didn’t play the way we needed to play in those conditions, didn’t adjust well enough. You have got to get through the first 20 or 30 balls and you are okay.
“[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.
“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 on. We should have made 500 on that wicket.”
The second and final Test will be played in Abu Dhabi. Australia needed to win both games to take the number one Test ranking away from South Africa.
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