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Not surprised to see Australia struggle; some of the selections have been head-scratching, says Ian Chappell

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) Former Australia Test captain Ian Chappell said he is not surprised to see Australia struggle in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy series against India, adding that the current team think-tank have made some “head-scratching” decisions on the tour.

After losing the first Test by an innings and 132 runs in Nagpur inside three days, Australia lost the second match by six wickets in New Delhi, which meant their chances of winning the Test series came to an end as India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Now 2-0 behind, Australia will face India in the third Test at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, starting from March 1.

“The mess they have got themselves in isn’t surprising, although some of the selections have been head-scratching, to say the least,” Chappell was quoted as saying by ABC.

Chappell further said he could not understand why left-handed batter Travis Head was dropped for the first Test in Nagpur. Following his shocking exclusion in Nagpur, Head was recalled for the second Test in New Delhi, making 12 and 43.

“You just don’t drop some guy who has been one of your top scorers in Australia. You find out if he can play in India.”

He was then left baffled by the decision to make Matthew Kuhnemann play in the second Test in New Delhi. Kuhnemann, who was flown following the return of Mitchell Swepson due to the birth of his child, was given a Test debut ahead of Ashton Agar and returned with figures of 2/72 and 0/38.

“He’s not bowling to the best batsmen in Australia. So, if his Shield record is quite good, you’ve got to remember he is not bowling to the best players. So, how do you decide that Kuhnemann is ready for India because he is bowling really well (in Sheffield Shield)?

“Now, a good selector — and I’m not sure we have got any of those at the moment — can see some things that tell him, ‘I think this guy is ready’ and you might take a punt. But in general, it’s not a good system for either the players or the selectors to decide who is ready for Test cricket.”



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