ODI series: Darren Lehmann singles out Glenn Maxwell for criticism after first loss in series with England
The Australia coach blamed Maxwell for playing a poor shot when they were well placed for the victory
Saturday 25 January 2014
Coach Darren Lehmann has singled out all-rounder Glenn Maxwell for criticism after Australia's nine-game winning run against England was ended in the fourth one-day international in Perth.
England secured a 57-run win at the WACA Ground to avoid matching their longest losing sequence, and beat Australia for the first time this winter.
Lehmann, however, feels his side should have won after they were well placed chasing 316 for eight, and suggested Maxwell deserved to shoulder the blame for a reckless shot.
Australia were 222 for five in the 40th over when Maxwell charged at man of the match Ben Stokes, only to edge a swipe behind.
It was a shot selection that clearly riled Lehmann - whose laid-back approach has been credited as playing a significant role in Australia's success this winter - as his side crashed to be all out for 259 in the 48th over.
"It got down to 95 off 11 or 12 (overs) and in this day and age you should get those," Lehmann said.
"It was disappointing to lose five for 50 or whatever it was and fall short. So our blokes - and Maxwell - he's got to understand, we've got to play better cricket."
Lehmann said he felt the need to publicly rebuke a player dubbed 'The Big Show' after Maxwell had also thrown his wicket away in the second game in Brisbane, before James Faulkner's late heroics snatched a dramatic one-wicket win.
"That's why I'm saying it to you on TV," Lehmann said.
"He understands he has got to be a better cricketer for us to get to where we want to get to.
He's got the talent, but the way we want him to play, he's got to finish those games off for us.
"He's a great young kid and the thing is he realised his mistake from last night and he owned up to that. He's got to get better.
"He's batting in the top six so he is a batting all-rounder so he's got to show the responsibility to bat like that at six.
"We know he's got flair and excitement and we love that about him but we want him to understand the game better."
Australia were without four key players in the Perth defeat with skipper Michael Clarke, David Warner, Shane Watson and Brad Haddin rested.
Lehmann refused to blame their absences on defeat, though, adding: "We didn't play very well. Full stop.
"We had our opportunities in the game. We certainly didn't bowl very well early in the game. I think they were none for 73 off 10 (overs), so we've got to get some early wickets.
"We might have to make some changes there. We have certainly got to bat better."
Clarke and Watson are set to return for the series finale in Adelaide in Sunday, although quick Mitchell Johnson is set to sit out his third game of the series.
Johnson has managed just one wicket in two games in the ODI series, and conceded 72 from his 10 overs in Perth.
The left-armer, who took 37 wickets at an average of 14 during the Ashes, will therefore be kept in cotton wool as Australia look ahead to their tour of South Africa next month.
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