Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia head coach Darren Lehmann has announced that the national team ought to be extremely embarrassed after they were beaten by Zimbabwe for the first time in 31 years.
In addition to the painful loss, Australia also slipped from first to fourth on the International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI team rankings.
However, Lehmann admitted that he and the national selectors had definitely made some wrong decisions when picking the team for the match. Australia captain Michael Clarke recently expressed his infuriation at all-rounder Steven Smith and left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson being omitted from the squad.
Clarke noted that both players would have made a huge difference since Smith could have held Australia’s innings together and Johnson could have injected some fear into the Zimbabwean batsmen with his hostile bowling.
However, despite the selection errors, Lehmann reiterated that he was fuming at having lost the match and even went as far as saying that “there’s probably not enough expletives in the English language at the moment for the way I’m feeling”.
“It’s just embarrassing for everyone involved in the touring party, and I hope they’re hurting. They should be,” he added. “By the end of the result, we probably thought we did get it wrong.
“But if we can’t beat Zimbabwe with that side we’ve got problems, so we’ve got to sort them out. We’ve got to learn really quickly because teams are going to see that and they’re going to react to it.”
Australia’s batting line-up crumbled right from the get-go, but without an unbeaten 68 from Clarke and a vital 49 from wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin, Australia wouldn’t have got anywhere near the 209 they managed to make from their 50 overs.
But, even though the pitches will be much more pace-friendly in the 2015 World Cup since it is being hosted by Australia and New Zealand, the Baggy Greens still have to learn how to combat spinners, especially when they play against the subcontinent nations.
However, for the time being, Australia will have to concentrate on beating South Africa because if they don’t and Zimbabwe somehow manage to upset the Proteas, the Baggy Greens will be knocked out of the tournament.