I worry about the three guys immensely - Lehmann fears for Bancroft, Smith and Warner

Darren Lehmann is "immensely" worried about banned trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft as they head home to Australia.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann   -  Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Australia coach Darren Lehmann has aired his concerns for Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft but hopes the banned trio are given a second chance following the ball-tampering scandal.

Captain Smith and vice-captain Warner were suspended for a year, while batsman Bancroft was handed a nine-month ban, after a Cricket Australia (CA) investigation into an incident that occurred in the third Test with South Africa.

All three have been sent home but can appeal against the sanctions, with batsmen Joe Burns, Matthew Renshaw and Glenn Maxwell called up as replacements for the last game of the series.

Speaking for the first time since he was cleared of knowing about the premeditated plan, Lehmann admitted he is "immensely" worried about the players' health as they prepare for a backlash on their return to Australia.

"The players have made a grave mistake but they are not bad people. They are hurting and I feel for them and their families," the former Australia batsman told the media.

"These are young men and I hope people will give them a second chance. Their health and well-being is extremely important to us.

"I worry about the three guys immensely. We love all of our players and they are going through a really tough time.

"We know we have let so many people down. We are truly sorry.

"There is a need for us to change the way we play. We need to work to bring the respect back from the fans."

Hosts South Africa won the game at Newlands by 322 runs to take a 2-1 lead in the series ahead of the finale in Johannesburg.

Tim Paine has been placed in charge for the game at the Wanderers and Lehmann has backed the wicketkeeper to do a "fine job", despite the difficult circumstances surrounding his promotion to the role.

"We know we're not going to be 100 per cent mentally right, but we're representing our country and we've got to start the ball rolling by playing the best cricket we possibly can," he added.

"That's going to be a challenge for the group but I'm sure Tim [Paine] will do a fine job. They're playing for Australia, so that's important."

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