‘Embarrased’ Steve Smith calls on team to shake-up post Hobart Test defeat

Johannesburg [South Africa], Nov. 15 : Australian skipper Steve Smith, who is 'embarrassed' following the humiliating series defeat to South Africa, has called on the team to shake-up, saying something has to change ahead of next week's day-night third Test in Adelaide.

Proteas' pacemen tore through Australia's last eight wickets before lunch on Day Four of the second Test to complete a humiliating innings and 80-run defeat on Tuesday and seal the three-match Test series at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart with a game to spare.

It followed an inglorious rout of 85 in the first innings, and a 10-86 batting collapse in the first innings of their comprehensive first-Test loss in Perth.

Addressing the media in the post-match conference, Smith said he was humiliated by the manner of Australia's surrender.

"I am embarrassed to be sitting here, to be perfectly honest with you. Too many times we have lost wickets in clumps, 8/32 today, 10/85 in the first innings," Smith was quoted as saying by Sport24.

"And it is happening way too consistently for my liking. We are not being resilient, we are not willing to tough it out and get through tough periods... it is not good enough," he added. Smith, who was the lone Australian batter to tackle the relentless Proteas bowling attack having remained 48 not out in the first innings and scored 31 at his second visit to the crease, foreshadowed selection changes as Australian cricket grapples to fix its demoralised national team.

"It is not working. So, obviously on the back of five losses there is going to be a lot talked about in regards to selection and things like that.

We've got to start finding a way to turn things around. Whether the ball is seaming or spinning or swinging we don't have an answer at the moment," the 17-Test skipper said.

"We are not resilient enough, we are not digging in enough, we are not having the pride in our wicket, we're just not being resilient enough and something has got to change.

We have got to play a lot better than we have been if we are going to beat any opposition around the world at the moment," he added.

Australia's head coach Darren Lehmann is also under major pressure following team's consecutive five-Tests' defeat, but Smith offered words of support for the coach and said the players were to blame for Australia's problems.

"It's not his fault we're not playing well, it's up to us to go out there and do the job. I have absolutely no problem with anything Darren is doing at the moment," he said. Kyle Abbott, who replaced pace spearhead Dale Steyn, was adjudged Man of the Match after taking 6-77 in the second innings to go with the match figures of 9-118.

Vernon Philander, who laid the platform for victory with five wickets in the first innings when Australia were bundled out for 85, however, went wicketless.

Meanwhile, Kagiso Rabada took the remaining four wickets in the second innings to cause a major collapse to the Steve Smith-led side.

The 27-year-old, who is currently top-ranked batsmen in the world, with 15 centuries to his name in 45 Tests, also praised the quality of the Proteas bowling attack, led by Abbott, Rabada and Philander after strike bowler Steyn was injured in the first Test.

"It's tough and the South African bowlers, when there is something in the wicket, Philander, Abbott and Rabada, they are world class...They hit the top of off-stump and got the ball seaming both ways and they don't give you any freebies.

And you have got to work hard for your runs," he said. Australia will further slip to fifth if they fail to stop South Africa from completing series whitewash in the third and final Test in Adelaide, starting November 24.

Source: ANI