Australia in 'no-win' situation - Hughes

Updated: 

Merv Hughes believes Australia are in a lose-lose situation heading into the third Test against South Africa as he defended their batsmen from claims they were reckless in Hobart.

The hosts head to Adelaide for the day-night clash beginning Thursday trailing 2-0 in the three-Test series.

Hughes - who played 53 Tests for Australia - feels that regardless of the result, a much-changed team face criticism.

"They're in a no-win situation," he told Omnisport.

"If they go out and get beat 3-0, the headlines are they're not good enough, get rid of them.

"If they come out and win, everyone says 'it's a dead rubber, the Test didn't matter'."

Australia came under fire for their performance in a loss by an innings and 80 runs in the second Test in Hobart.

After being bowled out for 85 in the first innings, they lost 32-8 in the second in a crushing loss.

But Hughes feels the assessment of Australia's performances is unfair.

"The Australia team is under pressure because the fans want to see runs scored in a day," he said.

"They go out and play their shots, they get 350 in a day and everyone says 'wow what a great day'. They go out and play their shots and they're out for 85, everyone says it's reckless. You can't have both sides of it.

"You want the players to entertain, but you can't say what they did in that first innings [in Hobart] is reckless because when it comes off it's great.

"We've got to be a little bit consistent with our view towards it."