Australia v India, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur March 29, 2014

'Our match awareness has to improve' - Lehmann

23

Darren Lehmann, the Australia coach, has said his team had to develop better situation awareness in the shortest format, an aspect that was missing from their first two games in the World T20, against Pakistan and West Indies. Australia have two losses in as many games and must win their last two matches, including one against India on Sunday, and hope Bangladesh beat Pakistan to have a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.

"I think we under-clubbed with the bat in both games to be perfectly honest," Lehmann said. "I think we needed 75 off ten [overs] in the first game with eight wickets in hand. And our match awareness has got to improve in this format. Again we got 178 [against West Indies] and we didn't bat very well. Our top six have got to take the shoulder of that, especially the times they got out, more so than anything else. The last couple of balls off [Sunil] Narine's over, those sort of things they've got to get better at. That's about learning, but in this tournament, this format you can't afford to learn, you've got to win."

Lehmann was also disappointed with the way Australia had let themselves slip from strong positions against both Pakistan and West Indies, which had all but put them out of the World T20.

"We beat ourselves in these games. It's as simple as that. Obviously credit to West Indies and Pakistan but we should've won both of those games. We've got only ourselves to blame.

"We had played pretty good T20 cricket at home and then in South Africa just before we came here. We were probably 70% in all three formats and it's a good learning curve. But, as I said, you've got to win those games. We have got to be on the mark each and every time, especially in this knock-out format. You find out about some players in pressure situations, which is good and bad for a coach and a captain. At least we learned."

Lehmann also said that allrounder James Faulkner would need to be wiser about the words he chose while bantering with the opposition. Before the match against West Indies, Faulkner's comment that he did not particularly like the team brought out an aggressive, in-your-face celebration from Darren Sammy's men after their tense victory on Friday. Lehmann also did not approve of West Indies' wild celebrations, saying it was not something Australia would have done.

"From my point of view, James has probably got to choose his words a little bit better but that's just part and parcel of the banter of the game, isn't it? We're in the entertainment business and if I could dance like Chris Gayle I'd be dancing every night of the week," Lehmann said. "We play our cricket hard and verbally that's what is going to happen. But we play it fair. That's just part and parcel. You live and die by the sword, don't you? You win, you lose, you've just got to cop it and move on.

"At the end of the day, you're going to get emotional with winning. We've certainly been through those stages but we're really respectful of that as well. When you win, you've got to win in the right way and act appropriately. If that's the way they do that, that's fine. That's not our choice. That's certainly not what we do. They certainly dance very well though, I'll give them that."

Australia have lost wickets to spin in both games so far, but Lehmann did not think this was a weakness. When asked about the challenge the Indian spinners would present in their next group game, he said the experience of an ODI series in India last year would help.

"[It's] not a weakness, because certainly spinners didn't get us out, we got ourselves out. So we've got some work to do in that area, but that's like every area: fast bowling, playing short-pitched bowling. It's no different. The wickets certainly haven't spun as much as we thought, so that's no excuse for our batters.

"We're lucky enough that we've played some decent one-day cricket against India, in India, not too long ago in October. So we know them very well, and they know us very well. It's going to be a great challenge for our batters and bowlers to put a complete performance together. If we do that, we can compete with anyone in the world."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nampally on March 30, 2014, 20:58 GMT

    Every Team comes with a plan to cope with the opposition Bowling. However in the Australia Vs. India match, the OZ team's only plan was to slog the bowling irrespective of where they are bowling. OZ has great hitters in Warner, Maxwell, White, Bailey & Watson. They all fell slogging in a most senseless manner. Maxwell even tried a reverse sweep against Ashwin when the OZ were already 5 down in batting. This is reckless batting! Perhaps the Aussies were over confident after beating England in the Ashes. Ashwin & Mishra with their spin bowling toyed with the Aussie batting to bundle them out for 86. This followed an Indian fight back in batting when India was 66 for 4 in 11.3 overs to end up 150 for 5 in 18.3 overs- 84 runs in 7 overs! So it was total annihilation of the OZ in batting & bowling. It would be best if OZ bats had taken a hint from how the best finishers in T20 - Yuvraj & Dhoni- batted.Sad to see a strong OZ team lose 4 in a row & are set to return home! Lessons learnt??

  • Lahori_Munde on March 30, 2014, 19:12 GMT

    A well known truth now is that Australia can dish it out but they can't take it, whether its Stuart Broad not walking in Trent Bridge or WI's celebration and dance of joy upon defeating Aus in T20WC

  • zapper22 on March 30, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    @Rahul_78 - So if a player says that I dont like a particular team, is insulting, then I wonder what would you say about the dancing antics of the West Indies? Or is it justified because the opposition player was an Australian, and people who predicted the downfall of Australia had been eating their words for the past 5 months. As for West Indies, we really know how good they are...In fact, when was the last time they did something eventful apart from a win in T20 WC in SL? Really need to search one's memory. @Bala- Remember the antics of Saurav Ganguly at Lords? Should we keep raking what happened 5-10-15 years ago? Or should we live life in the present? @ Nipun - Mcgrath retired from cricket some 7 years back. Are you still hung up over a dismissal celebration? Then I guess whenever a team beats India, they should dance like the WI, for all the in your face celebrations done by Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, et al.

  • STRIKETHUNDER on March 30, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    Australia will win easily with their power house batting line up. They have already done it twice before, in last 2 T20 WC.

  • TheBigBoodha on March 30, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    Yeah, the "celebrations" by the WI was poor sportsmanship. Way over the top. More like mocking than anything. Certainly Faulkner's words were nothing particularly insulting.

    Personally I find the language and hateful insults projected at Faulkner and Aus here way worse than anything he or the Aus have EVER said. But the irony appears to be lost here. Two very narrow losses and you'd think Australian cricket was finished. Well, I got some bad news...

  • on March 30, 2014, 12:37 GMT

    He is saying that Faulkner should choose the words smartly but I dont think that he actually feels that way, otherwise warner would not have repeated the similar mistake again and again ... also I still remember Mcgrath's in your face celebration against Tendulkar after getting him out and that too when tendulkar didnt even provoke him ... If that was justified to australians then what WI did was perfectly right ... Lehmann should understand that there is definitely something wrong with his group because its always Australia who every other team complains about be it SA, WI, Ind, Eng or SL

  • godshand on March 30, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    Mr. Lehmann - Welcome to the reality, you are no more champs !!! When asians are unable to play well on pacy wickets, a lot of questions are raised but what about aussies poor form on slow tracks. Gone are the days that you could sledge and go away scot free, now besides getting a bashing in the game, you would lower your respect as well in the eyes of world, which is not blind !!!!!

  • on March 30, 2014, 8:19 GMT

    oz just had 1 bad tournament. ...World starts bashing them before this they have defeated SAvin SA which team has done that in last 8 years....Eng 5-0 .......give them some respect lets see WI in 2015 world cup

  • Rahul_78 on March 30, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    Yes you are right Mr.Leehman. You and your boys cant dance like Chris neither could your boys bat, bowl and field like Chris and Co. It was not Sammy and his boys who went mouthing off before the match. When you are Australian and dealing with West Indian team you need to respect the history and heritage. These are proud men. What does Faulkner meant by saying he doesn't like them? No one expects him to. Aussies have history of getting under the oppositions skin and playing victim when it doesnt suit them. If you can dish it then be prepared to take it on the chin.

  • siddhartha87 on March 30, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    @ODI_BestFormOfCricket: Australia is not that bad in sub continent historically. They have won 1987 wc here, runners up in 1996.Won champions trophy held in India. Have not lost in Pakistan or Sri Lanka in tests since 1999. Even their WL ratio in ODI s in subcontinent for past 10 years is 2.11 which is highest among all teams with India being the 2nd best with 1.87. True they have struggled against India in subcontinent but saying that they are unsuccessful in sub continents is highly exaggerated

  • Nampally on March 30, 2014, 20:58 GMT

    Every Team comes with a plan to cope with the opposition Bowling. However in the Australia Vs. India match, the OZ team's only plan was to slog the bowling irrespective of where they are bowling. OZ has great hitters in Warner, Maxwell, White, Bailey & Watson. They all fell slogging in a most senseless manner. Maxwell even tried a reverse sweep against Ashwin when the OZ were already 5 down in batting. This is reckless batting! Perhaps the Aussies were over confident after beating England in the Ashes. Ashwin & Mishra with their spin bowling toyed with the Aussie batting to bundle them out for 86. This followed an Indian fight back in batting when India was 66 for 4 in 11.3 overs to end up 150 for 5 in 18.3 overs- 84 runs in 7 overs! So it was total annihilation of the OZ in batting & bowling. It would be best if OZ bats had taken a hint from how the best finishers in T20 - Yuvraj & Dhoni- batted.Sad to see a strong OZ team lose 4 in a row & are set to return home! Lessons learnt??

  • Lahori_Munde on March 30, 2014, 19:12 GMT

    A well known truth now is that Australia can dish it out but they can't take it, whether its Stuart Broad not walking in Trent Bridge or WI's celebration and dance of joy upon defeating Aus in T20WC

  • zapper22 on March 30, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    @Rahul_78 - So if a player says that I dont like a particular team, is insulting, then I wonder what would you say about the dancing antics of the West Indies? Or is it justified because the opposition player was an Australian, and people who predicted the downfall of Australia had been eating their words for the past 5 months. As for West Indies, we really know how good they are...In fact, when was the last time they did something eventful apart from a win in T20 WC in SL? Really need to search one's memory. @Bala- Remember the antics of Saurav Ganguly at Lords? Should we keep raking what happened 5-10-15 years ago? Or should we live life in the present? @ Nipun - Mcgrath retired from cricket some 7 years back. Are you still hung up over a dismissal celebration? Then I guess whenever a team beats India, they should dance like the WI, for all the in your face celebrations done by Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, et al.

  • STRIKETHUNDER on March 30, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    Australia will win easily with their power house batting line up. They have already done it twice before, in last 2 T20 WC.

  • TheBigBoodha on March 30, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    Yeah, the "celebrations" by the WI was poor sportsmanship. Way over the top. More like mocking than anything. Certainly Faulkner's words were nothing particularly insulting.

    Personally I find the language and hateful insults projected at Faulkner and Aus here way worse than anything he or the Aus have EVER said. But the irony appears to be lost here. Two very narrow losses and you'd think Australian cricket was finished. Well, I got some bad news...

  • on March 30, 2014, 12:37 GMT

    He is saying that Faulkner should choose the words smartly but I dont think that he actually feels that way, otherwise warner would not have repeated the similar mistake again and again ... also I still remember Mcgrath's in your face celebration against Tendulkar after getting him out and that too when tendulkar didnt even provoke him ... If that was justified to australians then what WI did was perfectly right ... Lehmann should understand that there is definitely something wrong with his group because its always Australia who every other team complains about be it SA, WI, Ind, Eng or SL

  • godshand on March 30, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    Mr. Lehmann - Welcome to the reality, you are no more champs !!! When asians are unable to play well on pacy wickets, a lot of questions are raised but what about aussies poor form on slow tracks. Gone are the days that you could sledge and go away scot free, now besides getting a bashing in the game, you would lower your respect as well in the eyes of world, which is not blind !!!!!

  • on March 30, 2014, 8:19 GMT

    oz just had 1 bad tournament. ...World starts bashing them before this they have defeated SAvin SA which team has done that in last 8 years....Eng 5-0 .......give them some respect lets see WI in 2015 world cup

  • Rahul_78 on March 30, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    Yes you are right Mr.Leehman. You and your boys cant dance like Chris neither could your boys bat, bowl and field like Chris and Co. It was not Sammy and his boys who went mouthing off before the match. When you are Australian and dealing with West Indian team you need to respect the history and heritage. These are proud men. What does Faulkner meant by saying he doesn't like them? No one expects him to. Aussies have history of getting under the oppositions skin and playing victim when it doesnt suit them. If you can dish it then be prepared to take it on the chin.

  • siddhartha87 on March 30, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    @ODI_BestFormOfCricket: Australia is not that bad in sub continent historically. They have won 1987 wc here, runners up in 1996.Won champions trophy held in India. Have not lost in Pakistan or Sri Lanka in tests since 1999. Even their WL ratio in ODI s in subcontinent for past 10 years is 2.11 which is highest among all teams with India being the 2nd best with 1.87. True they have struggled against India in subcontinent but saying that they are unsuccessful in sub continents is highly exaggerated

  • anuajm on March 30, 2014, 6:07 GMT

    Overconfidence is probably the reason Australia are out of the tournament. That led to match "unawareness", how can a star studded team lose a match with 8 wickets in hand and only 75 runs required. Because everyone was trying to hit out rather than stabilize and play smart cricket. Bailey and Hodge have that responsibility but Bailey is out of form and unfortunately Hodge has not displayed awareness even with his experience. What can explain his shot against Narine in the second last ball of his spell!! Licence to kill cannot be given to all batsman and will rarely payoff. Only Finch and Maxwell should have the license rest should play circumspect and be match aware. Australia are out of the cup as Bangladesh beating Pakistan is just a wishful thinking, BD will lose all their matches, they luckily qualified, if only Afghanistan could have been smarter and Nepal luckier.

  • on March 30, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    I think Darren Lehman has forgotten the antics played by Shane Warne in England many years ago .. His point of view is immature as Ozzies played both the games so far with over-confidence. He says they lost the games so close that he does not realise that these games are won or lost by narrowest margin and records have proved... The chances of Aussies making the semi-final is very remote and his wishful thinking of Bangladesh beating Pak does not come true ...

  • on March 30, 2014, 3:48 GMT

    i disagree we lost because of haddin's poor keeping

  • Rohit... on March 30, 2014, 2:46 GMT

    My Support will depend on the result of the previous match... If Bangladesh manages to beat Pakistan, then I would like to see a Oz win... Definitely I want to see India & Oz going to the semis in that condition... If Pakistan increases their win margin to 45:1 against Bangladesh, then I would want to see an Indian win as Oz being out, India would get a psychological advantage by going to the Semis if they win all matches in this toughest group.

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on March 30, 2014, 2:23 GMT

    it is expected bcz they historically never performed well in subcontinent. Oz players are good at bouncy pitches, even pointing avg 26 against india in india in tests. Clarke's current oz team is fast track bullies.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on March 30, 2014, 1:12 GMT

    Absol. agree with Lehman re. WI 'wild' celebration.Was embarrassing as a cricket fan watching that conduct.I'm all for enjoying teams,each other's success,celeb. it but at same time not disrespecting your opp.I know WI are better than that.Pls publish.

  • Praveen_Rambo on March 29, 2014, 20:29 GMT

    Blame Faulkner for the words tat had rose the windies fighting spirit..But.,u cant ignore the poor and worst captaincy of Bailey.,that indded let their tam down..very very very sick bowling changes and very sick batting dispaly by Goerge..shame on u man.,having such experince in T20s and still u dont know whom to give ball in the death..I pity u..

  • ScottStevo on March 29, 2014, 20:09 GMT

    @Sadip, what a bunch of balls! West Indies desire to win was certainly enhanced by Faulkner's ridiculous comments, but Aus lost because West Indies delivered with the bat and Aus bowled poorly at the death. I also agree with Lehmann in that spin hasn't been our undoing, nor that in limited overs games we have issues. We've made 175 in both games. It's true they weren't great batting performances, but it's not like we're not posting competitive scores. A massive myth! In reality, we only have issues with spin in India in TESTS. Also agree that the West Indies can celebrate however they see fit to celebrate their wins!

  • on March 29, 2014, 19:50 GMT

    mr.lehmann,the Australian sportsmanship has to change.you should always thrive to be respectful of all opposition.that is what helps separate the average players from the great players.you can play the sport hard and ruthless but fair and respectful.that is something this Australian team knows nothing about.and with you as coach,i do not expect to see any change soon.it is indeed very sad.

  • dean67 on March 29, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    Why is the focus solely on Australia's batting? If they don't bowl rank full tosses they win both those matches.

  • sheenu on March 29, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    Players should realize that they ACTUALLY bring out the aggressive best in the opposing team players (when they needle the opposing team players, as did James Faulkner in this T20 world cup, and Sammy took it out in him!). Previous classic example was when Freddie Flintoff needled Yuvraj Singh BEFORE Sturat Broad bowled THAT over in 2007 T20 world cup!! We all know what Yuvi did as a response to Freddie's needling him!! :-)

  • on March 29, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    T20 is often anyone's game. What makes it exciting is the fact that over the course of 40 overs the pendulum swings both ways until finally ONE team WINS. I don't want to pass judgement on Mr. Lehmann's analysis. What I do know is that WI won the match and credit MUST go to them. Their winning inspired the 'wild' celebrations; their celebrations as upsetting as it was to Australia (a team I like and support even as a West Indian) was just a response to Faulkner's distasteful statement. I hope that in the spirit of good sportsmanship there is no real animosity between the teams. People, this is NOT WAR. It is SPORTS.

  • Sadip on March 29, 2014, 16:44 GMT

    Australia lost to West Indies only because of the comment of James Faulkner... His comments made the opponent so much committed that they wanted just to win at any cost..... Chirs Gayle & Company's dance after winning the game was the answer to the comment of James Faulkner.... You are a good player Mr. Faulkner so, don't be restricted to a good player only, try to be a Good Sportsman...!!

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  • Sadip on March 29, 2014, 16:44 GMT

    Australia lost to West Indies only because of the comment of James Faulkner... His comments made the opponent so much committed that they wanted just to win at any cost..... Chirs Gayle & Company's dance after winning the game was the answer to the comment of James Faulkner.... You are a good player Mr. Faulkner so, don't be restricted to a good player only, try to be a Good Sportsman...!!

  • on March 29, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    T20 is often anyone's game. What makes it exciting is the fact that over the course of 40 overs the pendulum swings both ways until finally ONE team WINS. I don't want to pass judgement on Mr. Lehmann's analysis. What I do know is that WI won the match and credit MUST go to them. Their winning inspired the 'wild' celebrations; their celebrations as upsetting as it was to Australia (a team I like and support even as a West Indian) was just a response to Faulkner's distasteful statement. I hope that in the spirit of good sportsmanship there is no real animosity between the teams. People, this is NOT WAR. It is SPORTS.

  • sheenu on March 29, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    Players should realize that they ACTUALLY bring out the aggressive best in the opposing team players (when they needle the opposing team players, as did James Faulkner in this T20 world cup, and Sammy took it out in him!). Previous classic example was when Freddie Flintoff needled Yuvraj Singh BEFORE Sturat Broad bowled THAT over in 2007 T20 world cup!! We all know what Yuvi did as a response to Freddie's needling him!! :-)

  • dean67 on March 29, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    Why is the focus solely on Australia's batting? If they don't bowl rank full tosses they win both those matches.

  • on March 29, 2014, 19:50 GMT

    mr.lehmann,the Australian sportsmanship has to change.you should always thrive to be respectful of all opposition.that is what helps separate the average players from the great players.you can play the sport hard and ruthless but fair and respectful.that is something this Australian team knows nothing about.and with you as coach,i do not expect to see any change soon.it is indeed very sad.

  • ScottStevo on March 29, 2014, 20:09 GMT

    @Sadip, what a bunch of balls! West Indies desire to win was certainly enhanced by Faulkner's ridiculous comments, but Aus lost because West Indies delivered with the bat and Aus bowled poorly at the death. I also agree with Lehmann in that spin hasn't been our undoing, nor that in limited overs games we have issues. We've made 175 in both games. It's true they weren't great batting performances, but it's not like we're not posting competitive scores. A massive myth! In reality, we only have issues with spin in India in TESTS. Also agree that the West Indies can celebrate however they see fit to celebrate their wins!

  • Praveen_Rambo on March 29, 2014, 20:29 GMT

    Blame Faulkner for the words tat had rose the windies fighting spirit..But.,u cant ignore the poor and worst captaincy of Bailey.,that indded let their tam down..very very very sick bowling changes and very sick batting dispaly by Goerge..shame on u man.,having such experince in T20s and still u dont know whom to give ball in the death..I pity u..

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on March 30, 2014, 1:12 GMT

    Absol. agree with Lehman re. WI 'wild' celebration.Was embarrassing as a cricket fan watching that conduct.I'm all for enjoying teams,each other's success,celeb. it but at same time not disrespecting your opp.I know WI are better than that.Pls publish.

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on March 30, 2014, 2:23 GMT

    it is expected bcz they historically never performed well in subcontinent. Oz players are good at bouncy pitches, even pointing avg 26 against india in india in tests. Clarke's current oz team is fast track bullies.

  • Rohit... on March 30, 2014, 2:46 GMT

    My Support will depend on the result of the previous match... If Bangladesh manages to beat Pakistan, then I would like to see a Oz win... Definitely I want to see India & Oz going to the semis in that condition... If Pakistan increases their win margin to 45:1 against Bangladesh, then I would want to see an Indian win as Oz being out, India would get a psychological advantage by going to the Semis if they win all matches in this toughest group.