For all the excitement about Australia’s emphatic three-day Test win over the West Indies in Dominica, the performance of the top order has come into question.
Australia came away with a nine-wicket victory in Dominica, but not before slumping to 6-126 in their first innings.
Worryingly, it’s the 20th time in 46 innings that Australia have lost five or more wickets for less than 150 runs.
Coach Darren Lehmann admits it’s a statistic that leaves him worried.
“That was a disappointing output … we need our top six making runs,” Lehmann said.
“We know that, to perform how we want to perform in each Test match.
“The tail got us out of jail here and they’ve done that a bit in the past. The batters will be working hard to get it right.”
Australia’s saving grace has been their tail-enders as it was in Dominica.
Adam Voges, who scored an unbeaten 130 on debut, combined with the last four batsmen to lift Australia’s first innings to 318.
In the past year, Australia have added 100 or more runs after being seven down four times.
Fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood as well as Nathan Lyon have all proven their worth with the bat as well as the ball.
With several members of the batting lineup having their first red-ball bat in the first Test for months, Lehmann is hopeful Australia will be better for the experience in the second Test in Jamaica starting on Thursday.
“We were a little bit rusty the first hour with the ball on the first day because blokes hadn’t played in a bit,” Lehmann said.
“The same with the bat in the first innings.
“Hopefully all the cricket we’ve played, with the tour game and the training, hopefully in Jamaica we’ll start to settle into that five-day Test mode.
“It’s not a concern. It’s just about the batters adapting better.”
WAGGING TAIL – Australia’s tail-end batting efforts in past year
3-140 v West Indies, Dominica 2015
3-154 v India, MCG 2014
2-84 v India, MCG 2014
3-110 v India, Gabba, 2014
3-68 v Pakistan, Abu Dhabi 2014
3-8 v Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, 2014
3-41 v Pakistan, Dubai 2014
3-105 v Pakistan, Dubai 2014