Lehmann lays down law to top order

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AUSTRALIA’S specialist batsmen are under orders to shape up in time for the second Investec Test at Lord’s.

The tourists fell narrowly short of a surprise victory in the Ashes opener at Trent Bridge, where the shortfall in runs at the top of the order twice had to be bailed out
by non-specialists lower down.

Test debutant number 11 Ashton Agar came to the rescue with a remarkable contribution of 98 in the first innings and second time around, after an improved collective in the first five, wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin still top-scored from number seven – and needed major assistance from those still further down the list.

Coach Darren Lehmann said: “Our tail has done really well, but it’s time for the batters to make sure they’re making the runs. I think we only batted for 64 overs in the first innings and 110 in the second. We’ve got to be reversing that about, batting for 120 overs plus in the first innings of a game and making our runs there.”

Ed Cowan was out first ball on his home ground to put Steven Finn on a hat-trick first time round and then fell to part-time off-spinner Joe Root at his second attempt.

“He’s had a tough game,” said Lehmann. “Like everyone, you’ve got to make runs and perform.

“He’ll be disappointed with the shots. So are we. We’re trying to learn and get better. I’m sure he’ll get better at that as well.”