Terming Australia’s selections in the first two Test matches of the Border-Gavaskar trophy as ‘Panic selections’, former Australian captain Ian Chappell has slammed Australia’s Test selectors on ‘overthinking’ the line-up. With the Australian team management not picking up Travis Head for the first Test at Nagpur, Chappell was more critical of the bowling selections for the Delhi Test. The Australian team management had overlooked left-arm spinner Ashton Agar and had called another left-arm spinner Matt Kuhnemann ahead of the second Test at Delhi. The Pat Cummins-led Australian team lost the second Test by six wickets and is now trailing 0-2 in the four-Test match series.
“I don’t think there was any justification for some of the things they have done-their selections smacked of panic. If you want to look at panic, the dropping of Head (and) playing Renshaw saying he’s a good player of spin bowling, and you bat him in the middle order. You come in the second Test with one quick only, you fly Kuhnemann over from Australia and you play him ahead of Agar, who bowls the same sort of stuff, and was in the original squad. Now you are going to tell me they are not panic selections? This is the problem… they overthink things,” said Chappell while speaking with Wide World of Sports.
With Australia suffering an innings and 132-run loss in Nagpur followed by a six-wicket loss in Delhi in the second Test of the series, the Pat Cummins team had been left looking for answers for the dismal performances. With only two Australian batsmen able to cross double figures in the second innings at Delhi, Chappell also blamed the team management for the batting selections as well picking up the right bowling options. With all-rounder Cameron Green still not fit for the series, the former Australian captain opined the team management don’t have any clue for the right bowling combination in India.
“I don’t think they know what their best bowling lineup is. I also don’t think they think what their best batting lineup is in India, but … the best batsmen are in India now. You’ve got to pick your best bowlers. As the selector, you have to ask who do you think will take the 20 wickets the quickest. And I don’t think they’ve got a clue who that is, certainly not in India. In Australia, they know damn well-three quickies, Green as a fourth seamer, and one spinner, they’re fine here. But this is not Australia-It’s in India and you’ve got to find a way to play well, and Australia haven’t found that method,” said Chappell.
While debutant Khunemann finished with match figures of 2 for 110 in Delhi, Chappell wasn’t impressed with the Australian spinner and supported Agar, who was picked in the original squad. “Agar must be bowling very badly if they pick him in the original squad, and they put this guy ahead of him. What the hell’s Agar doing? There wasn’t a lot to be impressed with Kuhnemann. I’m very glad it’s their selection problem and not mine,” said Chappell.