'Put themselves in such a tough position' - Michael Clarke explains Australia's selection dilemma ahead of Delhi Test

“Now, they either shoot themselves in the foot if they drop Matthew Renshaw because they say ‘okay, we made a mistake’," said Clarke.

View : 10.2K

3 Min Read

Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke  (Photo by Pramod Thakur/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Australia were completely outplayed in the first Test of the four-match Test series against India in Nagpur as they lost by a massive margin of an innings and 132 runs. Following their humiliating defeat, Pat Cummins' side was heavily criticized for their team selection in the first match by several former cricketers. With the second Test just three days away, the discussions about the best playing XI of the Australian side are still going on.

Former Australian captain Michael Clarke was not impressed with the team selection for the first Test and felt that Travis Head should have been included ahead of Matt Renshaw. He further added that head coach Andrew McDonald defending Australia’s selection blunders have made things more difficult for his side ahead of the second Test in Delhi.

“Travis Head at No.5, if you start with him and it doesn’t work, then you can make a change,” Clarke said on Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast. “Now, they either shoot themselves in the foot if they drop Matthew Renshaw because they say ‘okay, we made a mistake’, and Andrew McDonald has come out and said ‘we haven’t made a mistake’. They’ve put themselves in such a tough position.

"I think they’ve painted themselves into a corner where it’s very difficult to change the team. It’s such a corner that they’re almost stuck and unless they get some injury relief — i.e., Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green come back — I don’t see how they can make any changes without looking like, A; there’s a massive over-reaction to what happened in the first game, or two; accepting they got it wrong, and I don’t think they want to do either of those."

Matthew Kuhnemann replaces Mitchell Swepson in Australian squad

Meanwhile, Australia have added left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann into their squad in place of wrist-spinner Mitchell Swepson, who had to fly back home for the birth of his first child. However, with Todd Murphy having a remarkable debut in the first Test, where he picked up a seven-fer, and Nathan Lyon being the experienced campaigner, it is highly unlikely that Kuhneman will get to make his debut in Delhi.

"I’ve watched a little bit of Kuhnemann bowl in domestic cricket. He’s a pretty good bowler, and he would be hard work and he offers a bit of variety. But that means you’ve got to either play three spinners — I’m not sure they’re going to do that — or you’ve got to leave out Nathan Lyon. I’m pretty sure they’re not going to do that," said Clarke.

On the other hand, India will look to continue their winning momentum in the second Test. They need to win at least three matches in the series to qualify for the final of the ICC World Test Championship. India will also dethrone Australia from the top of the ICC Test team rankings if they manage to beat them in three Tests.

Get every cricket updates! Follow us on:


Download Our App

For a better experience: Download the CricTracker app from the IOS and Google Play Store