Sydney, July 20: Australian coach Darren Lehmann has reportedly read out the riot act to Australian batsmen after they collapsed to 128 all out on the second day of the Lord's Ashes Test, although he insisted that former deputy Shane Watson was not to blame for his wasted review.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, as the Australians collapsed on Friday after losing 6-54 in a session, Watson (30) was clearly dismissed LBW before lunch by Tim Bresnan, like the nine of his 16 dismissals against England, and had wasted his review when he challenged the decision of the umpire.
Expressing frustration that the batsmen had not learnt from their mistakes in first Test, Lehmann said that eight of the ten dismissals were self-inflicted, adding that even though he encouraged his players to play with freedom, they needed to follow the rules and make sure that they are playing the right shot at the right time.
England in control at Lord's
Stating that the batsmen did not bat well at all, Lehmann further said that the referrals could have been better from their point of view and rued the failure of the top order, adding that he has been disappointed as a coach.
However, Lehmann absolved Watson of the blame of wasting his review, saying that it was his batting partner Chris Rogers who advised him to challenge the decision, before failing to use one on himself when he was hit on the belt-line by a Graeme Swann full toss.
But the coach was concerned about Watson's failure to kick his LBW habit and to convert powerful starts into big scores, and also did not let him off the hook for the untimely dismissal that triggered the batting collapse that could well cost Australia the Ashes.
Stating that Watson, who has only two centuries in his career, had performed well in both innings in the Trent Bridge Test and in the first innings at Lord's, Lehmann said that the batsman had however, failed to get it up in the second innings, although he added that Watson is aware of his failing and is looking to improve his performance.
According to Lehmann, Watson is close to making a big score as he is a good player, although he added that he needed to work hard to achieve that level even though he backed Australia to make more runs than 128 given their good starts both at Nottingham and at Lord's.