Australia head coach Darren Lehmann says the time for talking is done as he searches for a solution to the Baggy Green’s catastrophic loss of form.
His team have lost back to back Test series first away in Sri Lanka and now at home against the Proteas and the coach has indicated that changes will definitely be made.
The squad will be sent back to their state teams for a round of Sheffield Shield matches that will take on the air of national trials with as many as seven places in the Test XI up for grabs.
Only captain Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and pace spearheads Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are safe from the axe although Usman Khawaja would be unfortunate to lose his place.
The Canberra Times quotes Lehmann as saying: “There will definitely be change.
“We’ve talked a lot over the last few weeks, we talked a lot in Sri Lanka and we talked a lot in South Africa. The time for talking is probably done.”
The Aussie players will return to Shield cricket to play a round of four day red ball cricket while the Proteas will prepare for their first day/night Test in Adelaide with a pink ball warm up at the MCG.
Lehmann called on the players to put their hands up and turn their form around in the upcoming Shield matches.
The matches will also provide an opportunity for young players like Cameron Bancroft and Peter Handscomb.
The coach added: “We’ve got to stop the rot to start with and play some good cricket again.
“It’s a really good chance for all the players who are playing Shield cricket again to put their hand up.”
Lehmann doesn’t appear to be overly concerned about losing his job and offered a wry smile when quizzed about team performance manager Pat Howard’s comments that the crisis would allow the coach to reinvent himself.
He went on: “You’re always trying to change as coach and get better.
“Right now you’re challenged as a coach aren’t you, because we’re not getting the result we need. You have to think of different ways to get the best out of our group of players. That’s for all our coaching staff and players – we have to get better.”