With the squad selection for the all-important Ashes dividing the country into two halves, Australia head coach Darren Lehmann has urged the former players as well as a current player to back the team.
The Australian selectors sprung a huge surprise by recalling Tim Paine into the Test team after seven years. The 32-year old played last of his four Tests in 2010 and was surprisingly picked ahead of Matthew Wade and Peter Nevill despite not donning the wicketkeeping gloves in the ongoing Sheffield Shield. Shaun Marsh’s selection was also criticised by many.
Spin legend Shane Warne led the criticism by stating “Australia looks confused”, while his ex-Australia teammate Stuart MacGill slammed the selectors by calling them “morons”.
However, Lehmann, while stating that every individual is entitled to his opinion, urged the cricketers-past and present- to support the team.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion,” Lehmann was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “I’d just like all our players and ex-players to be really positive about the Australian cricket team, that’d be the way to go. I’m looking forward to everyone getting behind Australia in the contest that’s about to unfold.”
“Let’s just get everyone from Australia behind the Australian cricket team and let’s get moving forward. Selection is over, now we get stuck in to the side getting prepared the best they can to play in what’s going to be a bloody exciting series,” he added.
Lehmann went on to say that selecting the 13-man squad was tough but the team-management has got what it wanted. He also made it clear that the selection was done by the performance of the Sheffield Shield.
“It was tough but we were very clear with the way we wanted to go,” Lehmann said of the selection process..
“Everyone is entitled to their opinions. We made sure the three Shield games were really important so everyone got a good hit out and put their case forward before we selected the side,” he said.
The former Australia batsman also said young opener Matt Renshaw was unlucky to miss out. The left-handed batsman was one of Australia’s most impressive performers during the tour of India earlier this year but has looked out of touch in recent weeks and paid the price by not getting a place in the Ashes squad.
“He’s a very good young man,” he said. “We did some work on him last week to try and get him back on track. He was unlucky to miss out, it was a tough call. Obviously Cameron Bancroft, with his runs knocked the door down.”
“I’m sure he’ll be back, he’s a really good player. He’s just in a bit of a slump at the moment but he’ll get out of that,” he added.
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