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Only four players sure for Adelaide Test in shattered Australian XI: Lehmann

Updated: Nov 16, 2016 10:15 IST      
Only four players sure for Adelaide Test in shattered Australian XI: Lehmann

Johannesburg [South Africa], Nov. 16 (ANI): Australia's head coach Darren Lehmann has declared that only four players are sure to keep their places in the line-up post humiliating and demoralising defeat at the hands of South Africa at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart on Tuesday.

Proteas' pacemen tore through Australia's last eight wickets before lunch on Day Four to complete a humiliating innings and 80-run defeat on Tuesday and seal the three-match Test series with a game to spare.

Kyle Abbott, who replaced pace spearhead Dale Steyn, was adjudged Man of the Match after taking 6-77 in the second innings to go with the match figures of 9-118.

Vernon Philander, who laid the platform for victory with five wickets in the first innings when Australia were bundled out for 85, however, went wicketless. Meanwhile, Kagiso Rabada took the remaining four wickets in the second innings to cause a major collapse to the Steve Smith-led side.

The Steve Smith-led side is under heavy scrutiny after their fifth straight heavy Test defeat this year.

Lehmann, who is also under the scanner after his contract with the Australian team was extended to 2019 only last August, said there will "definitely" be changes for the last Test of the three-match series against the Proteas.

The Australian head coach, who is also a member of the selection panel, said only Smith, David Warner and pace pair Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood would be sure of keeping their spots.

"We've got to stop the rot, we've got to work out what the best XI is.Guys playing in this Test match, some were disappointed in their performances and they get the chance to play the Shield games to put their hand up," Lehmann was quoted as saying by Sport24.

"I thought Hazlewood was great, Starc's getting back to his best and then you've got Smith and Warner. Outside of that everyone's got to make some runs and take some wickets. It's a really important four days of Shield cricket," he added.

37-year-old batsman Adam Voges, opener Joe Burns and Callum Ferguson, who all failed to make a mark in the Hobart Test are under the scanner and so is off-spinner Nathan Lyon who has taken just two wickets in the ongoing series.

"Like everyone else, Adam's been a very good player for us for 20-odd Test matches. End of the day he's got to go back and make runs like everyone else," Lehmann said.

The 46-year-old said post the embarrassing defeat there was a desolate mood in the dressing room.

"Everybody is hurting in the rooms. I haven't seen it as quiet after a loss and that's understandable because of the performances," he said.

"We pride ourselves on playing for our country and we haven't done that well enough over the last three and a half days," he added.

The former-left handed batsman said that former Australian players have been talking with the shattered players and are offering them advices.

"Mark Taylor and Shane Warne have been chatting to the guys one on one. Ian Healy, Tom Moody, Simon Katich, Brett Lee, we've had a lot of the legends come in. The young guys who are playing today looked up to them. It's great to have them in the rooms and speaking to them," he said.

The Proteas have now won their last three series in Australia, following victories under Graeme Smith in 2008 and 2012.

Smith is currently top-ranked batsmen in the world, with 15 centuries to his name in 45 Tests, but his role as a captain has been under the scanner following five successive Test defeats that also saw Australia slip to third from first in the team rankings.

Australia will further slip to fifth if they fail to stop South Africa from completing series whitewash in the third and final Test in Adelaide, starting November 24. (ANI)

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