Australia vs South Africa: Cricket chief Pat Howard urges Steve Smith and Co to show resilience

Australia cricket chief Pat Howard on Sunday urged the embattled national team and organisation to show resilience in their fight for credibility.

AFP November 13, 2016 14:26:30 IST
Australia vs South Africa: Cricket chief Pat Howard urges Steve Smith and Co to show resilience

Hobart: Australian cricket chief Pat Howard on Sunday urged the embattled national team and organisation to show resilience in their fight for credibility.

Steve Smith's team, facing a fifth straight Test defeat this year, was rolled for a record-low total of 85 against South Africa in Hobart on Saturday, intensifying pressure on the players, coaching staff and selectors.

It was the fifth time in the past six years Australia had been bowled out for fewer than 100.

Australia vs South Africa Cricket chief Pat Howard urges Steve Smith and Co to show resilience

Steve Smith. Reuters

The latest debacle also followed the stunning first innings collapse of 10 for 86 in the first Test in Perth, which the Aussies lost by 177 runs.

Under-fire coach Darren Lehmann, whose contract was recently extended until 2019, has admitted Australia's batting was in crisis.

Howard, whose position is also under scrutiny, fielded questions at a news conference at the Bellerive ground during the washed-out second day's play.

"If you are looking for the players to have resilience you want the people around them to have resilience," he told reporters.

"So I expect Darren, me, (chief selector) Rod Marsh, all of us to show that exact same resilience we're expecting of the players."

Follow the leader

Howard said the Australian players should follow the lead of skipper Smith, who resisted the potent Proteas bowling attack for an unbeaten 48 while wickets tumbled around him.

"His resilience out there in the middle was fantastic and I think some of his players need to have a look at how he did it and take a lead from him," he said.

He added the Australian team's current predicament was also a challenge for Lehmann, amid calls that his coaching reappointment last August was premature.

"I think he's in uncharted territory as well and this is a great chance for him to reinvent," Howard said.

"He's been contracted through past 2019, which is a huge year in the calendar, Ashes away and a World Cup back-to-back.

"We've got a young captain with a coach that's wanted to give the team and squad some stability."

"I make no apologies for that, I made the decision and I take accountability for that."

Howard said he was ultimately accountable as the high performance chief for the current state of Australian cricket.

"As a team we're under the pump, as a system we're under the pump and I think Australians expect that fight and that's a fair expectation," he said.

Howard said he had not thought about his position, which is up for review.

"I am not even going to contemplate it after the (two home) Test series is done and to be fair I think it would only serve as a distraction to do that over the next couple of months," he said.

He also said he had not considered a replacement for Marsh, who has announced he will not be continuing in the role when his tenure ends next year.

"Every time you say someone is not going to stay and you exit them straight away it doesn't respect the work they are doing at the time," Howard said.

Updated Date:

also read

Sri Lanka vs South Africa: Clinical Proteas hand hosts 10-wicket thrashing to complete 3-0 sweep
First Cricket News

Sri Lanka vs South Africa: Clinical Proteas hand hosts 10-wicket thrashing to complete 3-0 sweep

Fortuin and Rabada took two wickets each to restrict Sri Lanka to 120-8 before De Kock (59) and Hendricks (56) helped South Africa romp home in 14.4 overs.

We've improved massively since T20 World Cup loss to Australia, says Smriti Mandhana
First Cricket News

We've improved massively since T20 World Cup loss to Australia, says Smriti Mandhana

India and Australia are set to lock horns in a multi-format series comprising three ODIs, the day-night Test, and three T20s, starting on 21 September. The Test will be played from 30 September to 3 October in Canberra.

Anjum Chopra sees lack of quality pace bowling support for Jhulan Goswami as huge concern
First Cricket News

Anjum Chopra sees lack of quality pace bowling support for Jhulan Goswami as huge concern

Regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time in the women''s game, Jhulan began her journey in international cricket nearly two decades ago and, at 38, she is still going strong but without enough help from the other end on a consistent basis.