India’s mind games fail as legend slams Head selection snub

Ravi Ashwin’s mind games it backfired considerably as Travis Head steered the Aussies to a crushing win. And an Aussie legend believes it made selectors look silly.

Australia has claimed a crushing nine-wicket win over India away from home.

Batting collapses have marred thei series in India, and there were some nervous moments, but Head managed to get on top, scoring 49 to steer Australia to the target of 76.

Australia lost 6/11 in the last innings but managed to quell the threat of dangerous spinners Ravi Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin.


Easy done, as we all predicted…

The Aussies do it in style, with a crisp Marnus Labuschagne boundary bringing up a nine wicket win in Indore.


Cricket legend Matthew Hayden has slammed the snub of Travis Head in the first Test, saying the attacking batter is making the Australian selectors look silly with his classy knock in Indore.

Head was a shock omission for the first Test in Nagpur, with selectors instead giving Matt Renshaw and Pete Handscomb the nod despite Head’s strong home summer.

Renshaw managed just four runs in his three innings for the series, coming on as the concussion substitute in the second Test after David Warner’s

“Australia just did not play their best side (in the first Test) – Travis Head should have been just about No.1 picked in that side,” Hayden said on commentary.

“He was brilliant last (Australian) summer. Who cares what happens a few years ago, he was in form!

“Needed to play that (first) Test. And now he is showing exactly why you pick him.

“He has got wonderful intent to score, his strike rate is enormous.

“Gets that momentum and that belief in the batting changeroom. He is a mover and a shaker.”


After some nervous times early doors, including the loss of Khawaja on the second ball of the innings, the Aussies are well and truly in control.

Boundaries are flowing in Indore as Head and Labuschagne grow in confidence at the crease and adjust to the bowling of the two Ravis.


Labuschagne has been using his feet well to the spinners and has followed the lead of Head, finding the boundary on a couple of occasions.

The Aussies are now more than halfway there, needing 36 more runs to bring up the win, wih Marnus up to 15.


It has been tough going for the Aussies, who had been restricted to 13 runs in the first 10 overs, but Travis Head managed to double that figure and change the course of the match in the space of four deliveries.

Head went over the top for a boundary over mid-wicket against Ashwin, edged a ball for two through point, and then saved his best for last, clubbing a maximum over the mid-on boundary.

It seems Ashwin’s mindgames have backfired, with the aggressive batter now firmly on the attack after a shaky start.

He moves to 18 off 28 and has swung the momentum in Australia’s favour, needing 50 runs to win.



Marnus Labuschagne got a little talking to from the umpire after pulling away when Ravi Ashwin came in to bowl… off just two steps.

Rohit Sharma and umpire Joel Wilson both came up to Labuschagne, who looked to be explaining that he was just getting ready for what was a very short run-up.

Ashwin continued the mindgames by pulling up in his delivery stride with Wilson chuckling to himself.


The Indians went upstairs, but the replay shows it clearly hit the pad of Marnus Labuschagne without an edge before flying to leg slip.

A sharp ball from Ashwin spun viciously off the surface and clipped the back pad of Labuschagne.

After some animated discussion between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, the skipper decided to review.

Both sides are now a review down and the Aussies have made it to double figures, which is… something!


Ravi Ashwin is proving unplayable early, conceding one run from his first three overs to start and claiming the wicket of Khawaja.

And he may have another soon if Travis Head isn’t careful.

The dashing Aussie batter fished outside the off stump twice in the third over.

Head drew an edge in the fifth over to a ball that skidded on, one which fell just short of the man at slip.

1/8 after 5.


First runs — breathe…

And first boundary. Marnus Labuschagne gets his account underway with a delightful cut shot after a rare poor delivery from Ravi Jadeja.

He comes back with a gem of a delivery to finish the second over that doesn’t turn and beats the edge of Marnus.

71 to go.


The first ball of the innings from Ravi Ashwin absolutely took off outside the off stump — not even the keeper Bharat could take it after a play and miss from Usman Khawaja.

And a mirror image the next delivery, but this time it took the edge of Khawaja and went into the gloves of Bharat.

Khawaja was in disbielief and reviewed, but the review showed a clear spike on snicko as it passed the bat.

1/0 after 0.2 and one review down. Oh my.


How are you feeling ahead of what should be a gettable chase?

After the Aussies lost six wickets in the space of half an hour in the last things, I’m feeling pretty nervous.

Let’s hope it’s over quick — and that it isn’t because of another collapse.

Aussies accused of exploiting DRS loophole

Indian cricket legend Harsha Bhogle has led calls for an umpire crackdown on a sneaky tactic being used to “save” DRS reviews.

Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey whipped the bails off on several occasions on day two, prompting the square leg umpire to ask to check for a possible stumping.

The third umpire is first required to check if there has been an edge behind or another dismissal, effectively creating an extra review without risking one of the three available to a team during each innings.

Bhogle tweeted: “The umpires have to find a way to see through the tactic of a keeper taking the bails off and asking for a stumping so that they get to check the edge without wasting a review.”

The alleged tactical ploy by the Australians, who require 77 runs to win in Indhore on day three, also drew the ire of some fans and media.

Journalist Nikhil Naz said: “Have lost count of the times Alex Carey has got the 3rd umpire to review a batsman’s edge under the guise of a stumping appeal- saving his team a DRS shout in the process. About time the square-leg umpire calls his bluff and takes a decision himself rather than refer to 3rd ump.”

Anand Vasu added: “Alex Carey now whipping the bails off every time he gets a chance. Steve Smith appealing directly to the square-leg umpire. Quite clearly looking to get the umpire to review the stumping so that a DRS call is not wasted. Anyway the edge will be checked also.”

One fan replied: “Annoying though it is, you have to appreciate the smart thinking behind it. It is these kind of things that eventually force rule changes in cricket”, but another said it was “gaming the system”.

Aditya Mohan tweeted: “S Smith and A Carey found a new way of reviewing without using their reviews. They always force umpire to go upstairs for stumping even though battery foot is well inside. In that process ultra edge also comes to play for caught behind. I’m noticing it since 1st test.”

Another fan described it as “astute” and added “other keepers should also be aware enough to do that.”

Carey has completed one successful stumping in the Test, Indian captain Rohit Sharma on day one.

Umpires Joel Wilson and Nitin Menon have had a host of calls overturned by the DRS during this Test.


– Peter Lalor

Matthew Kuhnemann’s debut at Delhi and 5-16 in Indore might be a fairytale, but his father Paul’s frantic journey to that historic event is part thriller, part travelogue and particularly heart warming.

The proud dad told News Corp of his breathless last-minute trip from Queensland to his son’s historic day at the Holker Stadium in Indore.

There was lightning, car crashes, random acts of kindness, traffic jams, dashes to connecting flights and a touch of frustration for Kuhnemann senior who owns and operates a chain of gymnasiums in Brisbane.

It should have been filmed. It needs to be retold.

Kuhnemann senior sent me this account and it is a tale so perfectly told I’m going to let him do my job for me.

“I was disappointed to miss Matt’s debut in Delhi however was planning on going to the third Test if he was selected,” Paul wrote.

“Matt calls me 3am Tuesday morning saying ‘I think I’m in, however if Greeny is still injured then they’ll take another bat and probably go with two spinners and I’ll drop out’.

“I thought bugger this, can’t sleep, I’m coming over.

“So 5.30am I booked a 20-hour flight with a five-hour stopover in Singapore. I was meant to leave Singapore airport at 2am to fly to Delhi to catch a connecting flight to Indore, however a big lightning storm hits Singapore airport and all flights are delayed.

“I’m thinking I am no chance of catching this connecting flight.

“Anyway, I finally arrive in Delhi at 7.30am, plane leaves for Indore at 9.25am and I have to get through customs, again I thinking I am no chance.

“Finally get through customs and have no idea where to go, this lady tells me you must go to terminal two quick, I am sprinting to find terminal two when this guy in a golf buggy pulls up and goes jump in you look like your in a hurry.

“This bloke is a maniac nearly cleaning people up and screaming in Indian, anyway I make it, get checked in, can’t believe I made it.”

“Arrive in Indore sitting on the plane turn the phone on and Matt’s got two wickets and taken a catch. You beauty.”

Matthew came on in the sixth over. His sixth delivery lured Indian captain, Rohit Sharma, out of his crease and deceived him with dip.

Alex Carey completed a brilliant stumping. India is 1-27.

In Kuhnemann jr’s next over he caught the edge of the other opener, Shubman Gill, Steve Smith took the catch in slip, and Australia was in the game.

Dad, however, has just landed.

Anyone who has caught a car from an airport in India knows the traffic hell that always.

He is so close but so far away … and there’s a car accident in his stars.

“There is a car waiting for me at (Indore) airport, we quickly head off to the hotel to drop off my bag, traffic is insane, driver had his hand on the horn the whole trip, next thing bang we have hit a tuktuk,” Kuhnemann snr continued

“I said ‘mate you hit him’, he just smiled and said ‘no worries’ and kept going.

“By the time we leave the hotel Matt’s now got three wickets, you beauty.”

The left-arm orthodox spinner, who was only in India as cover for Mitchell Swepson – who went home for the birth of his child – bowled Shreyas Iyer for a duck.

Kuhnemann Jr had 3-8 and India was 5-45.

All of this before lunch had been served or dad had set left the hotel.

Dad continues the tale …

“Jump back in the car off to the stadium, I’m in the front seat watching Kayo (so is the driver, I have to remind him several times, ‘mate you’re the driver’).

“Matt gets Ashwin while I’m in the car, he now has four, me and the driver are both screaming ‘you beauty’.

“Finally arrive at the stadium and Matt’s gets Yadav lbw to claim a 5-fa, can’t believe it, just holding back the tears. Matt walks off, looks up at us in the box and holds the ball up to salute us. Mate I’m the happiest bloke in the world, just went through the best 20 hours of my life.

“That’s the trip so far Pete. Thanks


Beaming father and son were united after play and celebrated the day with a meal in the team hotel.

In the press conference beforehand his son said “I could live here and play the rest of my career”.

Originally published as India v Australia: Travis Head steers Aussies to crushing nine-wicket win

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