Darren Lehmann slams ‘ridiculous’ call to drop Travis Head for Australia’s loss against India as former coach accuses Cricket Australia of double standards for selecting players with poor records on the subcontinent: ‘They didn’t get the selection right’
Darren Lehmann was left scratching his head over the selectors’ decision to drop Travis Head for Australia’s humiliating first Test defeat in India.
Head was dropped for the opening match in Nagpur last week, with selectors unconvinced by his record overseas despite enjoying a sensational summer of Test cricket back home.
Yet that decision was not vindicated as the tourists crumbled over three days, with India cruising to a victory by an innings and 132 runs.
Lehmann is the last coach to win a Test in India for Australia, during the 2017 tour, and was left baffled by the decision to drop Head considering other stars similarly share a torrid record in the subcontinent.
‘They need to find a way,’ he said of Australia’s batsmen succeeding on spinning pitches via The Sydney Morning Herald.
Darren Lehmann has criticised Australia’s selection decisions after the first Test defeat
The former coach blasted the call to drop the in-form Travis Head for the loss in Nagpur
‘They didn’t get selection right. Not playing Head was ridiculous, and he could have bowled some extra overs.
‘The hardest thing for him now is how is he going to try and stay in the side after having such an amazing two years at home.
‘If he’s ever going to succeed it was going to be off the back of the confidence the home series gave him. It’s a really tough one for him. Obviously they had their reasons but the records of the other blokes aren’t overly flattering either apart from [Steve] Smith, and [Marnus] Labuschagne is obviously a good player of spin.’
Lehmann also criticised Cricket Australia for not staging a warm-up match prior to the series opener, preventing the tourists the chance to acclimatize to their new surroundings.
Lehmann believes Australia should have played a warm up match before the first Test
‘Ideally, they should have played a tour game,’ said Lehmann, now an assistant coach with the Brisbane Heat. ‘They don’t like to do that because the tour match we played last time (2017) was on a green wicket.
‘But it’s still batting for a long period of times in the heat and getting used to the ball, things like that. So a tour game would have been handy ideally, but they decided to do the BBL didn’t they, which was good for the Heat because we got Marnus and Uzzie [Usman Khawaja], but maybe they needed a tour game. It’s easy in hindsight, though, isn’t it.
‘Hopefully these guys can repeat that [2017 performance] and get back on track.
‘You’ve just got to bat big because 177 is never going to be enough. It was turning, so you’re trying to get to 250. If it was 250 it’s a different game.’
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