Sports

Allan Border Still Shocked By Travis Head's Exclusion From Nagpur Test

Head has been in sublime form since the 2021/22 Ashes series, where he was adjudged Player of the Series after Australia won the five-Test series 4-0.

AUS fans will likely get to see Travis Head play in the 2nd Test at Delhi.
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Legendary Australian cricketer Allan Border is still at pains to understand why middle-order batter Travis Head was excluded from the side that suffered an innings and 132-run defeat against India in the opening Test at Nagpur. (More Cricket News)

Head has been in sublime form since the 2021/22 Ashes series, where he was adjudged Player of the Series after Australia won the five-Test series 4-0. He was the joint second-highest run-getter during the three-Test series at home against South Africa recently, which Australia won 2-0.

But despite achieving several milestones in the past one year, Matt Renshaw got the selectors' nod ahead of Head for the opening Border-Gavaskar Test. Renshaw couldn't make an impact in Nagpur, getting dismissed for 0 and 2 respectively.

Border felt the Australians were "overthinking" their strategy, and decided to drop Head only because of his two mediocre runs during the previous tours of Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

"I thought he (Head) must have been crook or injured himself…. I just couldn't believe that Travis Head could be left just on a win that he didn't play very well in India last time or when they were in Sri Lanka," Border said on SEN Radio on Thursday.

"That's maybe a case, but you're allowed to improve, and Travis Head is one of those players that has improved and he showed that during the summer."

Border added the Australians had got their selection for the Nagpur game horribly wrong.

"I think we overthought some of the stuff, worrying about all little gremlins about the pitch... that's what you expect when you go over there, they got the plans and the team wrong in the first game."

With pace bowler Mitchell Starc and all-rounder Cameron Green expected to be fit for the second Test in New Delhi starting Friday, Border felt that Australia should go back to their time tested three-pronged pace attack and include just one spinner -- Nathan Lyon instead of Todd Murphy.

Young spinner Murphy made his debut in Nagpur and grabbed seven wickets, while Lyon got just one.

"You've got to go with Lyon, he's built up enough brownie points over the years to be the first picked," Border said.

"Well done to young Murphy, it's going to be a tough decision to leave him out, I know the wicket is going to turn but I just reckon the formula for us to be successful (is) three quickies and one spinner.

"Just bowl stump to stump and be relentless with that tactic, I think that is going to be better for us than trying to beat them with spin, we've tried that forever and ever, and it hasn't worked."

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