AUS v IND 2018-19: Head or Handscomb for the first Test? Warne has his say

The Border-Gavaskar Trophy begins with the first Test at Adelaide from December 6.

Handscomb has made a return to the Test side on the back of a good form in Shield cricket | Getty

While most of the Tim Paine led side's XI seems to be confirmed for the first Test of the summer against India, there is a genuine dilemma over one slot.

Talented batsmen Travis Head and Peter Handscomb seem to be competing for the only batting position left to be filled by the team management.

This is where, assessing the issue ahead of the all-important four-Test series, leg-spin great Shane Warne gave his insight into the matter and tried to help Paine and head coach Justin Langer arrive at the right decision.

“It’ll come down to Handscomb or Travis Head, and I hope they go with Travis Head,” Warne said on Fox Cricket, “He’s a good young player ... To me, Head got a 60-odd in the UAE and done okay so I hope he gets the nod for that first Test match.”

Although Head exhibited promise on the tour of UAE making 122 runs at 30.50 across four innings against Pakistan, Handscomb has made a return to the Test side after a good start to the Sheffield Shield season with 227 runs at 37.83.

But Warne stayed firm with his opinion and asked the selectors to persist with Head against India, making the Victorian right-hander Travis wait before returning back into the main XI.

“Handscomb for me, by all reports he’s improved his technique a little bit and hopefully gets some runs. I’d like to see him get a hundred, a hundred, a hundred and really show his form to get back in that side,” the 49-year-old reiterated.

Sitting alongside Warne on the show during the second T20I at the MCG, former wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist also opined over the selection that took place recently and he specifically talked about young Matt Renshaw, who was overlooked for the battle.

“The only person I will say who’s been a little bit unlucky in all this is - Stoinis could have been there - but Matt Renshaw,” Gilchrist said, “He was the leading run-scorer in Shield cricket at the end of last year, he went to (English county) Somerset and scored a mountain of runs..."

"Since he’s come back, clearly the selectors were looking at Shield cricket as a form guide for who they were going to pick and he hasn’t nailed the big scores."

"I think he’s a terrific talent and in the future, he’ll be back," he signed off.

The third T20I starts at Sydney will be played on Sunday, November 25, before the much anticipated Border-Gavaskar Trophy begins at Adelaide from December 6.


By Kashish Chadha - 24 Nov, 2018

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