Darren Lehmann urges his players to lift ahead of the second Test starting on Thursday.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann has told his top order batsmen to up their game in time for the second Test against England at Lords this week.
The tourists came close to a stunning win in the first Test at Trent Bridge before Ashes-holders England scraped home by 14 runs on Sunday to go 1-0 up in this five-match series.
Australia’s tenth wicket pair were responsible for 228 runs at Trent Bridge, including a world record stand of 163 in the first innings that featured teenage debutant Ashton Agar’s 98 – the highest score by a Test No 11 – after they had collapsed to 117 for nine.
There was an improved showing second time around but had it not been for wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin’s 71 at number seven and yet more tail-end resistance, England’s margin of victory would have been greater.
This Ashes series was always likely to hinge on the performance of Australia’s top order and Lehmann, himself a former Test batsman, was in no doubt of what was required.
“Our tail has done really well over a period of time now but it’s time for the batters to make sure they’re making the runs,” he said.
“I think we only batted for 64 overs in the first innings and 110 in the second.
“We’ve got to be reversing that about, batting for 120 overs plus in the first innings of a game and making our runs there,” said Lehmann, brought in just 16 days before the Ashes after South African coach Mickey Arthur was sensationally sacked by Cricket Australia.