at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Port Elizabeth – A final day batting collapse was not to blame for Australia's heavy defeat to South Africa in the second Test match, according to Aussie coach Darren Lehmann.
Australia lost 10 wickets in just over a session at St George's Park on Sunday, and Lehmann said that was not where the match was lost for the visitors.
“Our first innings batting we didn't bat well enough or long enough. It's as simple as it gets,” said Lehmann about the first innings where Australia were bowled out for 246.
“We weren't patient enough with our batting, if we had the patience we had today, we would've made 350, 400 on the first day. Those deliveries wouldn't have got you out in the first innings because the ball wasn't reversing like that.”
Lehmann was honest in his assessment of the way the Australian batsman played the South African pace attack.
“They bowled very well and we didn't cope with it well enough so we have to improve in that area, but with their high class bowling attack, full credit to them,” he said.
“I wasn't pleased to be bowled out, in the manner we got out, but they 1/8South Africa 3/8 were too good for us.”
The Proteas were spearheaded by Dale Steyn as he got the ball to reverse when he accounted for the Aussie middle order.
Lehmann, however, said there was no cause for alarm.
“He bowled beautifully today, conditions suited what he did,” he said.
“They deserved to get the result they got. For us it's no panic, we'll just be getting ready for Newlands which will be a great Test match.”
The odds would always have been stacked against Australia batting last, said the coach.
“We bowled on day one when the pitch was not as course and day three when our bowlers were cooked because we only batted two sessions in our first innings. I knew it would reverse day four and day five.”
All-rounder Shane Watson was ruled out of the first Test with injury, and was not included in the Australian team for the second Test as their lineup remained unchanged.
Lehmann said if Watson were fit for the third Test starting at Newlands, in Cape Town, on Saturday, he would be a definite consideration.
“As long as he's bowling overs and he's fit, we would love to have that extra bowler,” said Lehmann.
“We'll have to wait and see. It's a selectors' conundrum ... it will depend on the pitch.” – Sapa