Last Update: February 12, 2023, 09:08 IST
Hindsight is a powerful weapon and the Aussies gifted their critics enough ammunition before they were thrashed India in Nagpur. Before the series, the pitch dominated the conversation, but after the First Test, Australia’s dismal performance with the bat became dominant.
And while his performance is being analysed, a special selection call ahead of the Tests is sticking out like a sore thumb. Travis Head was Australia’s best batsman coming into the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, but they dropped him for the series opener and instead relied on Matt Renshaw, who played his first Test in almost five years, in January.
The message was clear: even though Head had been in impressive form, Australia did not have enough confidence in him to run their middle order on challenging Indian pitches.
Former Australia captain Mark Taylor says the selection call could have a negative impact on Head’s mindset even though he feels the team will bring him back into the playing XI for the second Test.
“I daresay they will go back to him now for the next Test, but I worry about the psychological damage that will have been done to Travis Head as the selectors have told him they don’t have a lot of faith in him. On pitches like this Taylor said channel nine,
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For the record, Head has an excellent record in Test cricket while playing at home where he averages 57.40. However, when played away from home, this average drops to 23.76 in 11 Tests.
Although this 29-year-old player is yet to play Test in India.
“You don’t need that when you are going to bat in places like India. He is 29 years old and he is potentially the future of our middle order and the only way he can get better is if he plays in India. He hasn’t played a single Test match in India yet, so it surprises me,” Taylor said.
However, Taylor is positive Australia can bounce back despite the beating in Nagpur.
“It’s not impossible. I can think back to our last few Tests in India 25 years ago. We lost by an innings and 220 runs in Kolkata. In the fourth (third) Test of that series, we turned it And won by eight wickets, so you can do it,” he said.
When Australia captain Pat Cummins was asked about the decision not to opt for Head for the series opener, he defended the call. “We believed this was our best XI this week. We know that quality is trav. He is a big part of this team but we had faith in 11 players. He’s been really good around the group. He is working hard on his game as always.”
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