Burns and Khawaja need to up fielding game

Australia

Australia coach Darren Lehmann has offered a harsh assessment of his side's fielding efforts in the first Test against New Zealand, saying the 'average' performance needed rapid improvement in Perth.

While the Aussies won the match by 208 runs on day five, Lehmann was not pleased with the way opening batsman Joe Burns performed when fielding up close, dropping more than one catch, tough as they were.

When asked how he thought the fielding was at the Gabba, Lehmann said bluntly: "Average at best.

"Even our ground fielding, and we pride ourselves on that. So there’s a bit of work coming up for the lads. We could have stopped a lot more balls that we didn't."

'Boof' was also unimpressed with the new players in the side, and while Burns and Usman Khawaja did well with the bat, the coach was left underwhelmed by their efforts in the field.

He added of Burns, who fielded at short leg: "He just needs work. We saw him out doing that (before play).

"He’s just going to have to do more work, (spend) more time on his fielding and probably Uzzy (Khawaja) to be fair.

"They've got to move better and field at the level you'd expect of international cricketers."

Not one to rest on his laurels, Lehmann also said the fast bowlers could improve, despite taking the bulk of the wickets in the victory: "I don't think we bowled as well as we'd have liked.

"I don't think we bowled with the new ball as well as we could have, and give New Zealand credit – they left (the ball) well and made us work for it.

"But we've certainly got to get better in that area.

"I think they (NZ) had to play at less than half the balls with the new ball in the first 20 overs, so that’s something we'll look at there."

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