Cricket

Australia rebuild on track - Lehmann

2016-02-16 09:00
Darren Lehmann (Getty)

Sydney - Australia coach Darren Lehmann had little to complain about after his team wrapped up the first Test against New Zealand inside four days but he says the challenge for his young squad will be to build on that victory in the second match next week.

A superb bowling effort on the first day, and a double century from Adam Voges that drove them to a mammoth first innings of 562, helped the visitors to an innings and 52 run victory on Monday at the Basin Reserve.

While Australia can take top spot from India in the Test world rankings if they avoid defeat in the second match, Lehmann knows the hosts will be fired up for the game in Christchurch starting on February 20.

"The challenge for a young group is how they play away from home and I'm pleased with the way we have started this tour," Lehmann told reporters. "The challenge is to back that up next week in Christchurch.

"New Zealand will come back at us hard and we need to prepare for a side that plays very well at home and need to back up that performance again."

Lehmann's team is in the midst of a rebuild following the retirements of batsmen Chris Rogers and Michael Clarke, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, all-rounder Shane Watson and pace bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris in the last year.

Captain Steve Smith felt the team was 'gelling well' after successive series wins at home against New Zealand and West Indies, and said players such as Usman Khawaja were making the most of their opportunities.

Khawaja, who has scored four Test centuries since his return against New Zealand in Brisbane last November, said his confidence had been helped with the knowledge he would get the chance to prove himself because the team was rebuilding.

With quality waiting in the wings, Lehmann said the players still needed to perform if they wanted to cement their place.

"With the retirements it gave people a little bit of a run at it for a couple of series," he added. "You can go speak to them and confidently say 'you're going to get a good run without chopping and changing'".

"We're happy with our top six. We are leaving a bloke out who made 182 in his last Test match and that is tough on Shaun Marsh, so you have to keep making runs when you have blokes sitting on the side-line, there's no doubt about that.

"Everyone needs to do their job day in and day out."

Read more on:    australia  |  darren lehmann  |  cricket
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