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

Loss 'embarrassing for everyone involved' - Lehmann

ESPNcricinfo staff

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

  • James 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.

  • Dummy4 on September 2, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Never take a game for granted. Well done Zim!

  • Tshego 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.

  • Nadeem 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.

  • hlungwane 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Android on September 1, 2014, 20:32 GMT

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

  • chris 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.

  • ESPN on September 1, 2014, 15:35 GMT

    Australia missing watson and cummins big time ..

  • Vivian 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

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