Cricket 2023 news: Matthew Hayden scorches selectors over Travis Head decision, Australia vs India

Travis Head continues to make the Australian selectors eat humble pie after their mindless decision ahead of the opening Test in India.

Head was coming off a stellar series against South Africa and an even better 12 months that had him as the pick of the Australian batsmen.

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The call to drop Head prior to the first Test left cricket fans around the world in disbelief, the Australian selectors had fallen into the mind games over the state of the Indian wicket and had looked too far into the past instead of focusing on recent results.

Head showed time and again over the past 12 months he has what it takes to shine when Australia needs him, but the selectors for unexplainable reasons opted to leave him out.

On Friday he delivered yet another masterclass performance with the willow and proved once again why the call from the selectors deserves to be thrown back in their face.

Head guided the Aussies home on a pitch that fell apart inside the opening half an hour on day one.

The lowly total of 76 was a major worry because of the wicket, but Head’s class shone through as he belted India’s attack for a sensational knock of 49 not out from 53 deliveries.

His display once again highlighted just how idiotic the decision was from the selectors with former Indian great Sunil Gavaskar and Australian legend Matthew Hayden piling on during the final day’s play.

“You scratch your head and think what on earth was he doing in the dressing room in the first Test,” Gavaskar said on Fox Cricket.

“The man is in red hot form he’s had a brilliant Australian summer. Why would you want to cast your mind back to what’s happened earlier? Just go with current form.”

Hayden echoed a similar thought to Gavaskar as he slammed the Australian selectors for focusing on how Head had performed years earlier.

“You said something before that I just think was so spot on in terms of the assessment of selection right upfront in this tour – Australia did not play their best side,” Hayden said.

“Travis Head should have almost been number one picked in that team, apart from the captain.

“He was brilliant last summer. Who cares what happens a few years ago, he was in form and needed to play that Test. And now he’s showing exactly why you pick him.

“He’s got wonderful intent to score, he’s so quick, his strike rate is enormous inside that first 30 or 40 runs. He gets that momentum and that belief in that batting change room. He’s a mover and a shaker.

“What about that innings he played up in Brisbane. He didn’t quite get the hundred but it was an absolute raging green top. The typical Gabba green top. And he came out and almost embarrassed anyone else who was playing on that particular match. He was brilliant.

“He didn’t waste any time, he had great intent straight up, the game is moving forward and Travis Head is the reason why. And then to come here on a big tour and not be picked – ridiculous.”

Sunil Gavaskar said: “Match ups, computers, they seem to make the selections now.”

Ravi Shastri said it was similar to Usman Khawaja.

“I asked someone, why hasn’t Khawaja played, and they said ‘he doesn’t play spin well’,” Shastri began.

“I asked ‘when did he last play’. They said ‘2013 or ‘14’. I mean, that’s a long time ago, he’s hardly played so it’s being judgmental on a player who has hardly played.”

Cricket fans watching on were just as critical, many calling for Travis Head to be locked into the Test squad for the foreseeable future.

Despite missing the first Test, Head is currently the fourth highest run scorer for Australia, behind Marnus Labuschagne, Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb.

Head however has the highest batting average of the Aussies and his strike rate of 83.70 is only bettered by keeper Alex Carey who has scored less than half of his runs.

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