New Delhi: Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann has slammed the decision to drop Travis Head for the first Test of the 2023 Border-Gavaskar Trophy series describing it as “ridiculous” while questioning Australia’s preparation for the series.
Lehmann was the coach of the Australian team during the 2017 tour of India, where his side won the first Test before losing the series 2-1.
“They didn’t get the selection right. Not playing Head was ridiculous, and he could have bowled some extra overs,” Lehmann told Sydney Morning Herald. “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,” he said.
Lehmann believes that Australia should have played a tour match on arrival and endorsed the two-week training camp as the 2017 team had in Dubai.
Australia have adopted a no-tour match policy since their tour of Pakistan last year and is being continued for their all-important Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Pat Cummins’ side had a pre-series training at North Sydney Oval, that closely resembled subcontinent conditions and was followed by a short training camp in Bangalore before the first Test.
“Ideally, they should have played a tour game,” said Lehmann. “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 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.”