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HomeNewsAustralia in India 2023, cricket: World No. 4 batter Travis Head dropped...

Australia in India 2023, cricket: World No. 4 batter Travis Head dropped for first Test, Matthew Hayden, Steve Waugh

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Aussie cricket fans have been left baffled after Travis Head was dropped for the first Test against India.

Australia has a new look side for the match as the injuries of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Cameron Green as well as the expected raging turner at Nagpur forced several changes.

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Scott Boland, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Renshaw and 22-year-old debutant Todd Murphy all came into the side, as Australia dropped a bombshell by sidelining Head for the first Test.

Ashton Agar was also dropped from the last Test Australia played at the SCG.

It was a call that left Aussie legend Matthew Hayden in disbelief after Head almost single-handedly won Australia the Test series against South Africa.

With the second Test dominated by David Warner’s double-hundred and the third Test ending in a draw, Head’s 96-ball 92 on the green monster at the Gabba was the most important knock of the series.

It took Australia from 3/27 to a first innings score of 218 and a lead of 66 runs, which was all the more important when South Africa had the Aussies 4/35 in the fourth innings.

But he didn’t finish there, hitting 525 runs for the summer, including a century and four fifties at 87.50 and a strike rate of over 95.

It was a summer that seemed to have cemented his position in the Aussie top five but with the fears of a doctored pitch to catch out left-handed batters, but his direct replacement Renshaw is also a left hander.

Head’s seven Tests on the subcontinent appear to have counted against him.

He has played in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the UAE previously, having scored 213 runs at an average of 21.3.

Hayden was still perplexed however.

“I can’t believe it,” Hayden said in commentary. “Mark Waugh actually was right next to him, and nor could Travis Head in that brief conversation.

“To me, he was the player of the summer. Totally different conditions I know in Brisbane but his 90 there was just so damn good. He made it look like it was flat, and it wasn’t. It was an absolute raging green top. But his mindset and his ability to be able to score quickly, and he’s a good player of spin as well, just speechless.”

Dinesh Karthik said the more perplexing selection was his replacement — Matt Renshaw, a left-hander himself.

But Hayden said Renshaw was “in particularly good form”, and said he was ready to play Tests unlike six years ago when he debuted.

Head was shocked by the call with News Corp’s Peter Lalor saying the South Australian spent some time with thteam psychologist to process the news of his axing.

Former Aussie skipper Steve Waugh was equally flabbergasted, lashing out at the selectors for “overanalysing” the situation.

“Hard to believe we can drop the number 4 ranked test batsman in the world and probably our best batsman in the last 12 months plus he bowls better than average off spin – let’s wait and see- maybe the Aussie selectors are genius’s! #gamble #overanalysing? #waitandsee,” posted Waugh to social media.

Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle also had his say on the head-scratcher.

“Very interesting selection from Australia. Travis Head? I know he js a left-hander but I thought he was the right package with his off-spin. I would have thought a tall left arm spinner who bats would be perfect,” he tweeted.

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