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Lehmann lays down law to Aussie batsmen

AAP logoAAP 1/08/2016 Will Knight

Darren Lehmann didn't sugar-coat Australia's batting effort in Kandy.

"It wasn't up to scratch," Australia's coach said bluntly of the tourists' scores of 203 and 161 in their 106-run loss to Sri Lanka in the first Test.

Every batsman in the top six, bar David Warner, got a start but Steve Smith's second-innings 55 was Australia's top score for the match.

"No one went on with it, we had partnerships but no one had a big one which is something we have done really well in the last 12 months - we have had big partnerships."

Australia need to come up with a plan to combat Sri Lanka's slow bowlers - and fast.

At Pallekele Stadium, the home side's spinners outclassed the No.1-ranked Test side, with their two left-armers combining to take 16 wickets.

Rangana Herath led the way with match figures of 9-103 with some that spun and some that skidded.

On debut, wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan bagged 7-107 with impressive accuracy and a wrong'un that fooled a few of the Australians.

Asked what his side needed to do better in the southern coastal city of Galle, where the second Test starts on Thursday, Lehmann had a simple message.

"Probably hit the ball more and not get lbw for a start," said Lehmann.

There were 15 lbw dismissals in Kandy - the most in any Test in Sri Lanka - and fifth-highest number in Test history.

The home side accounted for nine and Australia six.

Ominously for Australia, the Galle pitch is expected to turn more than Kandy and Herath has a brilliant record at the picturesque ground.

"Now they have seen Sandakan, it is going to be a lot easier to play," said Lehmann.

"And Herath is obviously a very quality bowler. They have got to work out a plan. We have talked about it a lot so they know what to do, it's just executing more than anything else... we just have to get better."

Lehmann doesn't want Australia's batsmen to go into their shells in Galle, he just wants them to be smarter.

"They've got to be better at decision-making," he said.

"The disappointing thing was we gave up a big lead. We should've made more runs in the first innings... we let them off the hook there.

"(However) I think the batters are in a really good space."

The coach saved some raw honesty for the bowlers too after conceding 353 in the second innings on a difficult strip, although Lehmann gave strong praise to Kusal Mendis for his game-turning 176.

"I thought our bowling in the second innings wasn't up to scratch either," he said.

"The bowlers have to get better. At least we have learnt, seen all their players now and know what to expect.

"(Herath) bowled at the stumps. Consistently at the stumps. That's something that we've got to do."

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