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Worry about the psychological damage that may have been done to Travis Head : Mark Taylor

New Delhi : Former Australia captain Mark Taylor is worried about the psychological damage which has been done to left-handed batter Travis Head after being axed for the first Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test against India in Nagpur.

In the match which Australia lost by an innings and 132 runs inside three days, right-handed batter Peter Handscomb came in for Head, who made 525 runs at an average of 87.5 against the West Indies and South Africa in the home summer, leaving many former players baffled.

“I dare say they’ll go back to him now for the next Test, but I worry about the psychological damage that may have been done to Travis Head because what the selectors have told him is that they don’t have great faith in him on those sorts of pitches.

That’s not what you need when you’re going in to bat in places like India,” he was quoted as saying by Nine’s TODAY show. Ranked fourth in ICC Test Rankings, Head’s previous struggles in the subcontinent may have resulted in his axing for the Nagpur Test.

In sub-continent conditions, Head averages just 21.30. Moreover, on Australia’s tours of Pakistan and Sri Lanka last year, he fell to spinners five out of six times. Taylor feels the only way for Head to improve that record was to continue being exposed to subcontinental conditions.

“He’s 29 years old and he’s potentially the future of our middle order and the only way he’s going to get better is if he plays in India. He still hasn’t played a Test match in India yet, so that’s where it surprises me.”

Asked on how Australia could bounce back from a crushing loss in the Nagpur Test, Taylor felt communication will be a major key in preparing for the second Test set to happen in New Delhi from February 17.

“It’s not impossible. I can think back to 25 years ago to my last couple of Test matches in India. We got beaten in Kolkata by an innings and 220-odd runs in the third Test of that series.

In the fourth Test of that series, we turned it around and won by eight wickets, so you can do it.” “You’ve got to have belief, and that’s the problem because there’s been mixed messages sent about Travis Head, to people like Ashton Agar, who played in Sydney but then didn’t play the first Test.

That’s sending mixed messages. So I hope the communication in that changeroom is right because it needs to be. Australia needs to be clear in their minds and start again on Friday.”



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