Zimbabwe v Australia, Tri-series, Harare September 1, 2014

Loss 'embarrassing for everyone involved' - Lehmann

ESPNcricinfo staff
37

Australia's coach Darren Lehmann has said his men should be embarrassed by their loss to Zimbabwe, despite conceding that he and his fellow selectors erred when picking the side.

Zimbabwe's spinners caused problems throughout Australia's batting innings before Elton Chigumbura and Prosper Utseya saw Zimbabwe home in the chase of 210. It ended a 31-year drought since Zimbabwe last beat Australia in a one-day international and resulted in Australia slipping from first to fourth on the ICC one-day rankings.

"There's probably not enough expletives in the English language at the moment for the way I'm feeling," Lehmann told reporters after the game. "It's just embarrassing for everyone involved in the touring party, and I hope they're hurting. They should be."

The most notable deficiency in Australia's game was their handling of Zimbabwe's spinners, who between them collected six wickets, including the first four wickets that left Australia wobbling at 57 for 4. It was the recurrence of an ongoing theme in Australian cricket, where capitulations often occur in slow, turning conditions.

Although next year's World Cup will be played on faster, bouncier pitches in Australia and New Zealand, the Australians must still find a way to handle good spinners in helpful conditions. Not surprisingly, Michael Clarke looked the most comfortable until he retired hurt with a hamstring problem, but the selectors had omitted another good player of spin, Steven Smith.

Clarke said after the game that it was "disappointing" Smith was not picked, and the Australians also hurt their chances in the match by resting Mitchell Johnson. However, Lehmann said the team chosen should still have been able to account for the tenth-ranked one-day team in the world.

"By the end of the result, we probably thought we did get it wrong," said Lehmann of the selections. "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 will still make the final of the tri-series unless they lose to South Africa on Tuesday and then Zimbabwe upset South Africa in the last match on Thursday.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Clyde on September 2, 2014, 7:14 GMT

    Eleven top-class cricketers from Australia would have walloped Zimbabwe and the fact is these Australians are not top-class. They are even prone to rust, as their coach has indicated recently. Quite unlike Pontings and Tendulkars, for example. When the coach thinks he can make them play better you know they aren't the complete thing. I detest these team ethics that suggest cricket is not about individuals creating their own games first and getting together only after that. The huddle is particularly galling.

  • on September 2, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Never take a game for granted. Well done Zim!

  • HennopsRiverEnd on September 2, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    @daager; @Jason Attewell. Fully agree with you two. He has done a good job but has brought much class.

  • Nadeem1976 on September 2, 2014, 1:40 GMT

    Zimbabwe played well and Australia did not on this day. Australia needs to improve their batting ability against Spin.

  • fiddlerv90 on September 1, 2014, 23:13 GMT

    Aussies shouldn't dwell/indulge in the humiliation defeat debate, it isn't forbiden for lower teams to pose an upset to bigger ones. SA were smart and they knew what was coming, and so they went in with 2 specialist spinners(tahir n phangiso) and a part-timer in JP.

    With steyn picking up wickets at the other ender and tahir using his googles wisely, Zim had no chance but to surrender.

    Aus should rest johnson if they are to beat SA. Johnson bowls "hit me balls" and surely with De kock,faf, miller and AB, he will be trading mountains.

    Aus should persist with the same XI that played zimbabwe, with only steven smith coming in for clarke.

  • on September 1, 2014, 22:03 GMT

    Love Lehmann's handling of the media. He provides copy that is, if not the same as the dressing-room dressing down, plausibly compatible to it. My word, Mickey Arthur could be painfully defensive in defeat and dull in victory. Australia certainly made toppling that losing streak easier than it should have been - which is not to detract from Zimbabwe's effort.

  • on September 1, 2014, 20:32 GMT

    Lack of class from Lehman. Give the opposition some credit. Well done Zimbabwe.

  • daager on September 1, 2014, 17:45 GMT

    Whats most embarassing is Aus not giving Zim enough credit. Lehmann has done a great job for Aus, but he hasnt brought much class or sportsmanship to the setup.

  • on September 1, 2014, 15:35 GMT

    Australia missing watson and cummins big time ..

  • Ala-Wageda-Goa on September 1, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    I wonder who is behind and being the huge fan of phil Hughes? Has he ever being recognised as a one-day player or suited more for a extended version of test cricket, if he is must to the team? World class spinner still seems miles away for Australia

  • Clyde on September 2, 2014, 7:14 GMT

    Eleven top-class cricketers from Australia would have walloped Zimbabwe and the fact is these Australians are not top-class. They are even prone to rust, as their coach has indicated recently. Quite unlike Pontings and Tendulkars, for example. When the coach thinks he can make them play better you know they aren't the complete thing. I detest these team ethics that suggest cricket is not about individuals creating their own games first and getting together only after that. The huddle is particularly galling.

  • on September 2, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Never take a game for granted. Well done Zim!

  • HennopsRiverEnd on September 2, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    @daager; @Jason Attewell. Fully agree with you two. He has done a good job but has brought much class.

  • Nadeem1976 on September 2, 2014, 1:40 GMT

    Zimbabwe played well and Australia did not on this day. Australia needs to improve their batting ability against Spin.

  • fiddlerv90 on September 1, 2014, 23:13 GMT

    Aussies shouldn't dwell/indulge in the humiliation defeat debate, it isn't forbiden for lower teams to pose an upset to bigger ones. SA were smart and they knew what was coming, and so they went in with 2 specialist spinners(tahir n phangiso) and a part-timer in JP.

    With steyn picking up wickets at the other ender and tahir using his googles wisely, Zim had no chance but to surrender.

    Aus should rest johnson if they are to beat SA. Johnson bowls "hit me balls" and surely with De kock,faf, miller and AB, he will be trading mountains.

    Aus should persist with the same XI that played zimbabwe, with only steven smith coming in for clarke.

  • on September 1, 2014, 22:03 GMT

    Love Lehmann's handling of the media. He provides copy that is, if not the same as the dressing-room dressing down, plausibly compatible to it. My word, Mickey Arthur could be painfully defensive in defeat and dull in victory. Australia certainly made toppling that losing streak easier than it should have been - which is not to detract from Zimbabwe's effort.

  • on September 1, 2014, 20:32 GMT

    Lack of class from Lehman. Give the opposition some credit. Well done Zimbabwe.

  • daager on September 1, 2014, 17:45 GMT

    Whats most embarassing is Aus not giving Zim enough credit. Lehmann has done a great job for Aus, but he hasnt brought much class or sportsmanship to the setup.

  • on September 1, 2014, 15:35 GMT

    Australia missing watson and cummins big time ..

  • Ala-Wageda-Goa on September 1, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    I wonder who is behind and being the huge fan of phil Hughes? Has he ever being recognised as a one-day player or suited more for a extended version of test cricket, if he is must to the team? World class spinner still seems miles away for Australia

  • AMMAR3438668158 on September 1, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    yesterday is not australia fault because its zim day.they played really good in every aspect(bat & bowl).

  • shirl on September 1, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    The loss came when Aus automatically expected to win against a lower ranked team. Smith being left out was just a joke. Zim played well & Aus did not. Aus also got worse as the game went on with some really pathetic fielding. Let Zim enjoy their win, they deserved it. If this was an Oz team of old I'd be enjoying a thrashing of the opposition by Aus next game but I feel those days are gone, sob sob....

  • on September 1, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    Real threat was when Steve Waugh was the Captain along with his band of Immortals, current team easy peezee, no problemo :)

    For me if South Africans do not choke can take up the World CUP, honestly I am loosing my interest in Cricket, after people like Wasim, Waqar, Ponting, Sachin, Shane retired from the game, hope someone like them will emerge and bring me back on my tele :)

  • xtrafalgarx on September 1, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    @Sir_Francis: I mean the better team on the day.

  • DragonCricketer on September 1, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    It was Ziimbabwe's fault. They were too good.

  • on September 1, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    @Boooowled : Yes but that was rather my point - it's a poor team in HINDSIGHT, but it isn't far from the first pick team of the players actually in the squad. If there was any absence when picking the squad it was an economic line-and-length bowler (such as Clint McKay or Chadd Sayers) and a second specialist spinner on such a slow deck. No such players were in the squad. I think Lehmann's preoccupation with high pace bowling could possibly bite us.

  • on September 1, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    rightly said..!

  • Boooowled on September 1, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    @Jarrod - the problem with the selections is that the team chosen lost to Zimbabwe. That is what the problem is. The bowling attack they chose bowled 18 wides. Completely unacceptable for a team with eyes on the World Cup. You don't win ODI's by bowing three overs of wides.

  • enlightenedone on September 1, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    this is my team for world cup 2015- finch,warner,watson,clarke,bailey,maxwell,faulkner,haddin,johnson,harris,mckay with backups including steven smith,phil hughes,mitchell starc,lyon,ben cutting,mathew wade,mitchell marsh and ben cutting.

  • Boooowled on September 1, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    Please Mitch69, you'll be blaming Clarke for the war in Iraq next. Top scored in the match, batted through the innings from number three, and he is not a selector, so the woeful team chosen is hardly his fault. Further, have a look at the scorecard. Eighteen wides? Only Lyon looked anything like threatening. That tells the whole story for me. Rubbish batting against the spinners, except for Clarke and to a lesser extent Haddin, and rubbish bowling. Clarke did everything that could be expected. The Selectors and the bowlers did not.

  • on September 1, 2014, 9:16 GMT

    1.Finch,2.Hughes,3.Maxi,4.Bails,5.Smith,6.Hadds,7.Faulks,8.Cutts,9.Johnson,10.Starc,11.Lyon,12th man Marsh is my team..As the most destructive batsmen in the side, Maxi should be given the most time to build an innings.Maxi has shown the ability to bat in an orthodox manner when put up the order and can expand his many strokes according to his confidence and the match situation.Australia know, they have to fully maximize their batting potential V SA o put them under pressure, and promoting Maxi seems to be a strategic imperative. Bailey is a good steadier if Maxi fails at 3 and Smith-Haddin-Faulkner seem to be reliable finishers.At this stage Marsh has fallen short in both batting and bowling except for his 80 odd against 'babwe and Cutting is a beter bowler so far in his career whilst not conceding much in way of batting to Marsh.Lyon is a must have following on from his 4'fer V 'Babweans. I'd open Bowling with Starc, Faulkner Saving Johnson for a fiery spell at SA's class 3-6 bats.

  • on September 1, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    all said and done there s some weakness in every team... some capitulate against spin some against pace... most of the so called experts might feel that performance on pacy pitches matters the most but when a player can't play spin well it means he s also an incomplete cricketer .... the Aussies might carry a false swagger that they are kings of world cricket ... they r not... south Africa are ; Johnson might bounce out a trembling England team on pacy pitches.. steyn can rip apart subcontinent sides on turning pitches... that's the difference between good and great :)

  • on September 1, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    SA is the number 1 ODI side in the world now and they are very professional by selecting more regular spinners in their side. Oz are having some good players in their squad but not having greats of the game like AB / Amla / Steyn. @social_monster09 - please use your words against SA very carefully.

  • jazzychef on September 1, 2014, 7:57 GMT

    cograts zimbabwe, couldn't be happier for you guys, that squad has been really entertaining me. nyumbu's little dances are awesome.. and i have to say im glad they beat us, we've had issues as a team for a while, maybe now we can start to sort things out. maybe.. and also enjoying south africa, they are a solid unit. i think we could learn from them at the moment. they seem more mature on the field as well. gotta say i feel hosting the world cup is the only reason we'll be competitive this time round. it's not much fun watching your country loose, but i think we need to work out how to deserve to win again. also in all my years watching australia ive never seen the lineup chop and change as much as it does these days.. i like to see us find a 16 man squad and settle into some rythem. thats my 2cents...

  • Flemo_Gilly on September 1, 2014, 7:32 GMT

    @onlinegamer i remember reading your comments on Hughes before the series started on how the Aussies were destined to fail without Hughes in the team, now that he is in the team we still lost and whats more his inability to play spin was revealed. Clarke, Smith, Bailey, Warner and Finch can all play spin but Hughes cannot so its time to stop blindly defending your man Hughes as he struggled even against Zimbabwe spinners.

  • Sexysteven on September 1, 2014, 7:28 GMT

    Clarke made Abig mistake by retiring hurt if he was able come out and field and bowl then he could off batted on and got treatment at the innings break then he was capable of batting on in my opinion he could of taking it abit easy running between the wickets cos had Clarke stayed batting and got those extra 30 odd runs to get a100 that prob would of been enough for Aussie to win the so in my view Clarke cost the Aussies awin if he was fit enough to field then he was fit enough not to retire hurt that decision cost Aussie awin I think

  • on September 1, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    I'm feeling at a bit of a loss here - what was the big error in selection? Resting Johnson for a match against Zimbabwe is eminently reasonable. It was definitely a pitch for Lyon to play in his place. Clarke coming in for Smith made perfect sense as Smith has a middling ODI record and all the other batsmen are in form. Cutting for Richardson likewise made perfect sense as Kane has been indifferent and there's no point having a player like Cutting in the squad without giving him a game.

    If there is an error it's a long standing one and with the squad we've taken over there, because out of the players we had it made perfect sense to play that eleven. Sometimes you just have to say 'the better team won', even if the better team is a minnow.

    Well played, Zimbabwe.

  • onlinegamer55 on September 1, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    @Mitch069 No Australian batsman except Clarke could play remotely play spin in this game, so it is unfair to put the blame solely on Hughes' shoulders. He survived for longer than most, in fact, and several batsman (such as Marsh and Haddin) got out multiple times to spin (assuming Zimbabwe held all their chances).

  • onlinegamer55 on September 1, 2014, 6:09 GMT

    Lehmann's comments come across as a bit elitist, suggesting that losing to Zimbabwe is too low for them. Frankly, it's not as Australia have too many bits and pieces players in their team and not enough specialist batsman and bowlers. Pick a side with 6 specialist batsmen and four specialist bowlers and I think you'll find a massive change in Australia's fortunes. Unfortunately, the selectors are obsessed with bits and pieces players. You can have one like Watson if he is of top quality but not 4 or 5. A batting lineup of Watson, Finch, Hughes, Bailey, Clarke, Maxwell seems quite well-balanced to me with Watson a good bowler and Maxwell possibly able to bowl part time spinners.

  • Flemo_Gilly on September 1, 2014, 6:01 GMT

    Lehman is the man who has got us back to the top of world cricket and i am sure he will get this fixed as i rate him as the best coach in world cricket. Clarke should take a fair amount of blame. We have two openers, fair enough, an unfit Clark, he should never have gone to Zimbabwe. Too much reliance is made on lesser bowlers who can bat rather than picking our top bowlers (Johnson and Lyon excepted and maybe Starc). Richardson was woeful in his two games so far and Faulkner may develop into an international player he's not there yet. Cutting looked very promising as a lower order hitter and Hughes needs to be dropped as its blindingly obvious that he can't play spin at international level

  • on September 1, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    Bad days happen to everyone. Aus have enough players to rest some and still field a strong team. Zimbabwe did better on the day.

  • emranbmb on September 1, 2014, 5:11 GMT

    i don't think that it is embarrassing for Australia to lose the match.

  • social_monster09 on September 1, 2014, 5:03 GMT

    I am very much disappointed by this type of performance by the Aussies. Wrong team selection, pathetic fielding, wrong shot selection, Clarke's hamstring & obviously bad decision after winning the toss to bat first on such a dry wicket which looks like 5th day pitch of India. (A shameful offense). But I am worried for SA because now all frustration & anger of Oz players will outburst on SA tomorrow. Poor Africans. I beg to Boof to select a proper squad for tomorrow's match because it will be a S.Final for Oz's. Squad is as follows:- 1.Finch 2.Hughes/March 3.Bailey 4.Smith 5.Mazwell 6.Haddin 7.Faulkner 8.Cutting 9.Mitch 10.Starc 11.Lyon

  • on September 1, 2014, 5:02 GMT

    Congratulations to Zimbabwe on a well deserved victory. I think Australia were over confident and complacent. This loss is a lesson to all teams that it is not important how good you are on paper but actually it is the performance on ground that matter. Hope Zimbabwe build on its performance in this tri-series shrug the tag of minnows and become a more competitive side in future

  • RaviUnadkat on September 1, 2014, 4:08 GMT

    To someone who has nothing to loose will do all crazy things to win, and someone who has won almost everything do not even practice or try to look at weaks team's combination.

    Australians are not very good to play spin and so not African as well, Australia would have prepared better looking at what Zimbabwe did to RSA in previous match, they were almost there to create another upset but yesterday was their day.

    I would not wonder if Zimbabwe plays with RSA in final. Clarke and team need to lift themselves up.

  • Sir_Francis on September 1, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    No, they weren't beaten by the better team. Man for man, Australia is far superior talent wise. However, Zimbabwe aren't so bad that if you show no respect and fail to take them seriously you can be beaten. It shows Zimbabwe is mentally tougher than Australia. Australia needs players with talent AND killer instinct. Do not lose games you are supposed to win. It's a bad, lazy habit. Well done Zimbabwe.

    And I bet SouthA frica would never let themselves be beaten by Zimbabwe as they are a tougher team.

  • xtrafalgarx on September 1, 2014, 1:59 GMT

    " 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. " - Lehmann

    Lehmann has to be careful here. We were beaten by the better team here, of that there is no doubt. You didn't select the best team yet again, and have been made to pay. You can't just hope you will beat Zimbabwe, simply because you are better historically. You need to be at your best to win every game, regardless of the opposition. Man up, accept the responsibility and step up!

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  • xtrafalgarx on September 1, 2014, 1:59 GMT

    " 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. " - Lehmann

    Lehmann has to be careful here. We were beaten by the better team here, of that there is no doubt. You didn't select the best team yet again, and have been made to pay. You can't just hope you will beat Zimbabwe, simply because you are better historically. You need to be at your best to win every game, regardless of the opposition. Man up, accept the responsibility and step up!

  • Sir_Francis on September 1, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    No, they weren't beaten by the better team. Man for man, Australia is far superior talent wise. However, Zimbabwe aren't so bad that if you show no respect and fail to take them seriously you can be beaten. It shows Zimbabwe is mentally tougher than Australia. Australia needs players with talent AND killer instinct. Do not lose games you are supposed to win. It's a bad, lazy habit. Well done Zimbabwe.

    And I bet SouthA frica would never let themselves be beaten by Zimbabwe as they are a tougher team.

  • RaviUnadkat on September 1, 2014, 4:08 GMT

    To someone who has nothing to loose will do all crazy things to win, and someone who has won almost everything do not even practice or try to look at weaks team's combination.

    Australians are not very good to play spin and so not African as well, Australia would have prepared better looking at what Zimbabwe did to RSA in previous match, they were almost there to create another upset but yesterday was their day.

    I would not wonder if Zimbabwe plays with RSA in final. Clarke and team need to lift themselves up.

  • on September 1, 2014, 5:02 GMT

    Congratulations to Zimbabwe on a well deserved victory. I think Australia were over confident and complacent. This loss is a lesson to all teams that it is not important how good you are on paper but actually it is the performance on ground that matter. Hope Zimbabwe build on its performance in this tri-series shrug the tag of minnows and become a more competitive side in future

  • social_monster09 on September 1, 2014, 5:03 GMT

    I am very much disappointed by this type of performance by the Aussies. Wrong team selection, pathetic fielding, wrong shot selection, Clarke's hamstring & obviously bad decision after winning the toss to bat first on such a dry wicket which looks like 5th day pitch of India. (A shameful offense). But I am worried for SA because now all frustration & anger of Oz players will outburst on SA tomorrow. Poor Africans. I beg to Boof to select a proper squad for tomorrow's match because it will be a S.Final for Oz's. Squad is as follows:- 1.Finch 2.Hughes/March 3.Bailey 4.Smith 5.Mazwell 6.Haddin 7.Faulkner 8.Cutting 9.Mitch 10.Starc 11.Lyon

  • emranbmb on September 1, 2014, 5:11 GMT

    i don't think that it is embarrassing for Australia to lose the match.

  • on September 1, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    Bad days happen to everyone. Aus have enough players to rest some and still field a strong team. Zimbabwe did better on the day.

  • Flemo_Gilly on September 1, 2014, 6:01 GMT

    Lehman is the man who has got us back to the top of world cricket and i am sure he will get this fixed as i rate him as the best coach in world cricket. Clarke should take a fair amount of blame. We have two openers, fair enough, an unfit Clark, he should never have gone to Zimbabwe. Too much reliance is made on lesser bowlers who can bat rather than picking our top bowlers (Johnson and Lyon excepted and maybe Starc). Richardson was woeful in his two games so far and Faulkner may develop into an international player he's not there yet. Cutting looked very promising as a lower order hitter and Hughes needs to be dropped as its blindingly obvious that he can't play spin at international level

  • onlinegamer55 on September 1, 2014, 6:09 GMT

    Lehmann's comments come across as a bit elitist, suggesting that losing to Zimbabwe is too low for them. Frankly, it's not as Australia have too many bits and pieces players in their team and not enough specialist batsman and bowlers. Pick a side with 6 specialist batsmen and four specialist bowlers and I think you'll find a massive change in Australia's fortunes. Unfortunately, the selectors are obsessed with bits and pieces players. You can have one like Watson if he is of top quality but not 4 or 5. A batting lineup of Watson, Finch, Hughes, Bailey, Clarke, Maxwell seems quite well-balanced to me with Watson a good bowler and Maxwell possibly able to bowl part time spinners.

  • onlinegamer55 on September 1, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    @Mitch069 No Australian batsman except Clarke could play remotely play spin in this game, so it is unfair to put the blame solely on Hughes' shoulders. He survived for longer than most, in fact, and several batsman (such as Marsh and Haddin) got out multiple times to spin (assuming Zimbabwe held all their chances).