Cricket legends explode over Australia’s bomb test call to beat Travis Head: ‘I’m just speechless’

Cricket fans and pundits were baffled and furious by Australia’s bombshell decision to scrap Travis Head for the first Test against India.

Head was Australia’s dominant batsman in 2022, hitting 655 carries with a 50.38 average in two centuries.

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But that wasn’t enough to keep his position with the team and the selectors turned to Matt Renshaw and Peter Handscomb for Thursday’s start of the Border Gavaskar series at VCA Stadium.

The tide of anger against the call was spearheaded by former Australia captain Steve Waugh.

Waugh took to his Instagram page to criticize selectors, wondering if they analyzed too much.

Mid-order batsman Travis Head was dropped for the first Test against India in Nagpur. Credit: AAP

“Hard to believe we can drop the fourth-ranked Test batsman in the world and probably our best batsman in the last 12 months,” Waugh said.

“Also off-spin he throws better than average – let’s see – maybe the Aussie selectors are genius (sic)!” #play #overanalyze? #let’s wait and see.”

Head played some important shots in Australia’s summer tests against the West Indies and South Africa but his poor record in Asia has counted against him.

He struggled in two Tests in Sri Lanka, averaging just 7.66.

And he’s averaging a dismal 21.30 across seven Tests in Asia, compared to his career mark of 45.23.

But those numbers didn’t stop the outrage.

Waugh’s former teammate Matthew Hayden said, “He was the player of the summer….I’m just speechless.”

And former South Australian sailor Chadd Sayers tweeted: “Lopping your head is a damn shame.”

The former Australian cricketer and Channel 7 commentator said she was “shocked” to see Head off the team.

And former AFL star and Front Bar regular Ryan ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald said, “Are you f***ing serious?”.

“How much does he have to do to get a chance in India? Best run scorer in the last series and had a fantastic summer.”

Another former AFL player, Jarrod Lienert, was also confused.

“One of the best bats in the world. I understand the conditions may not be ideal but he deserves the first try! Dirty,” said Lienert.

Like Waugh, fans were quick to point out Head’s solid bowling figures.

“He still has a better Test bowling average than (top spinner) Nathan Lyon,” one fan tweeted.

Renshaw spent more than four years in the international wilds before being recalled for the New Year’s Test in place of injured all-rounder Cameron Green.

Handscomb last played a Test in January 2019, a drawn Test against India at SCG.

Australia were also concerned about their strong left batting lineup, with India picking three spinners to try to exploit a perceived weakness against spin.

– with AAP

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James Brien

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