'Hard To Believe': Matthew Hayden, Steve Waugh Express Shock At Travis Head's Axing For Nagpur Test
India vs Australia: Former Australian captains Matthew Hayden and Steve Waugh have been left shell-shocked by the axing of Travis Head for the first Test against India.
Former Australian captains Matthew Hayden and Steve Waugh have been left shell-shocked by the axing of Travis Head for the first Test against India, with the former saying the player himself was in disbelief after knowing his fate. The Australian team management chose right-handed batter Peter Handscomb ahead of the 2021-22 Ashes "Player of the Series" Head, probably because the 29-year-old is a left-hander.
The pre-match talk revolved around India preparing the Nagpur track to unsettle the Australian side packed with left-handers and that could have played a role in visitors' choice of players.
"I can't believe it (Head's axing). Mark Waugh actually was right next to him, and nor could Travis Head in that brief conversation," Hayden was quoted as saying on Fox Cricket after the playing XI for the match was announced on Thursday.
"For me he was player of the summer. Totally different conditions I know in Brisbane at the Gabba but his 90 in Brisbane (against South Africa) was just so damn good. He made it 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 ... I'm just speechless," added Hayden.
Head got a 92 in the first Test against South Africa at the Gabba, which helped the hosts win by six wickets in December last year.
The middle-order batter again scored a half-century in the second Test at MCG as Australia defeated the Proteas by an innings to take a 2-0 lead. He went on to make another quick-fire 70 in the drawn third Test at Sydney in January 2023.
In fact, the "Player of the Series" against the Proteas, David Warner, who scored a double-century at MCG, was surprised at receiving the award ahead of Head.
"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! #gamble #overanalysing? #waitandsee," Waugh wrote on Instagram.
The first Test between India and Australia is taking place at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur.
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