India vs Australia: Decision not to play a tour match was flawed, Darren Lehmann tells SMH

Darren Lehmann, who toured India as a player, making his Test debut in Bengaluru in 1998 and coached Australia to the only win in the 2017 Pune Test questioned the decision to allow the players to continue in the Big Bash League rather than head to the subcontinent early, speaking to Sydney Morning Herald. He also questioned their decision to not play a tour game. 

Australia prepared for the tour at North Sydney Oval, followed by a short training camp in India.

“Ideally, they should have played a tour game,” he told SMH.

“They don’t like to do that because the tour match we played last time was on a green wicket.

“But it’s still batting for a long period of times in the heat and getting used to the ball, things like that. So a tour game would have been handy ideally, but they decided to do the BBL, but maybe they needed a tour game.

“It’s easy in hindsight, though, isn’t it.”

Leaving Head out a mistake

The former coach called the the decision to omit Travis Head from the first Test in Nagpur as “ridiculous.”

“Not playing Head was ridiculous, and he could have bowled some extra overs. The hardest thing for him now is how is he going to try and stay in the side after having such an amazing two years at home, ” Lehmann said.

“If he’s ever going to succeed it was going to be off the back of the confidence the home series gave him.

“Obviously they had their reasons but the records of the other blokes aren’t overly flattering either apart from Smith, and Labuschagne is obviously a good player of spin,” SMH quoted him as saying.

Head is expected to come in for the second Test in Delhi, potentially replacing either Matthew Renshaw in the middle order, or even partnering Usman Khawaja at the top in place of the struggling David Warner.

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