Lehmann to keep the heat on Aussie top six

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 09: Australia celebrate victory on day five of the First Test match between Australia and New Zealand at The Gabba on November 9, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 09: Australia celebrate victory on day five of the First Test match between Australia and New Zealand at The Gabba on November 9, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images) Chris Hyde

AUSTRALIA coach Darren Lehmann has put his top six batsmen on notice despite a dominant performance in the first Test at the Gabba.

The home team wrapped up victory on the final morning in Brisbane after a typically beligerent innings of 80 from New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum threatened to spoil Steve Smith's first outing as skipper on home soil.

But when McCullum was controversially given out, caught by Smith at slip by umpire Nigel Llong, the Kiwis collapsed to eventually be bowled out just before lunch for 295 in an extended session as Australia won by 208 runs.

The visitors had used up all their reviews and McCullum was forced to walk off despite replays showing the ball had missed the edge of his bat and hit his pad.

An entertaining 46-run last-wicket stand between Mark Craig and Trent Boult held the Aussies up a little further, but victory was secured when Boult was caught behind off the bowling of Mitchell Starc (2-69).

Nathan Lyon also claimed three wickets.

Australia dominated with the bat with the likes of Usman Khawaja and Joe Burns staking claims to keep their places for the entire summer with Tests against the West Indies to come.

But Lehmann said batsmen still needed to accumulate runs with others knocking at the door.

"It's important to stick with a group that we think is going to take us forward, but also you've got to have performances, there's no doubt about that," he told the ABC.

"Shield cricket is meant to be strong, and there are guys in there that are pushing. I see (Cameron) Bancroft got a hundred again and Shaun Marsh got 90, and they were guys that were very unlucky to miss out on this Test match.

"The top six has got to be making runs."

Joe Burns
Joe Burns

Lehmann said it was also important young players such as Burns and Khawaja were making their mark.

"It's always important to get that first Test hundred and to feel like you belong a little bit, more than anything," he said.

"When you make that first one, the weight is off your shoulders if you like, and then you can go and play cricket."

New Zealand skipper McCullum, meanwhile, said bowler Tim Southee was a good chance of playing in the second Test in Perth, starting Friday.

Southee broke down with a back injury on day two in Brisbane and could not bowl again in the game, but McCullum said there was improvement.

"I am pretty confident. He is starting to come right pretty quickly which is a good sign," he said.

"Back injuries can recover pretty quickly ... we will give him every chance.

"He showed in that first innings he will pose a lot of questions, so hopefully he will play."



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