Melbourne [Australia], Nov. 21 (ANI
): Former Australian pacer Brett Lee
is astonished by the recent decision of the team management wherein they axed five players for the Adelaide Test against South Africa and fears the message it would send to the future debutants.
Following the humiliating defeat in the second match of the ongoing three-match series, the embattled Australian team management made extraordinary six changes for the third Test to be played in Adelaide.
Joe Burns, middle-order batsmen Adam Voges (who was not considered for selection due to concussion) and Callum Ferguson, gloveman Peter Nevill and fast bowler Joe Mennie have all dropped out the side that lost by an innings and 80 runs in Hobart.
The uncapped quartet of Matthew Renshaw, Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson and Chadd Sayers have been included in a 12-man squad for the final match in which the host would seek to earn a consolatory win and regain some lost prestige.
"I am absolutely shocked. I can't believe what's happened. When you think about the guys that have missed out ... Pete Nevill, to me he's done a great job behind the stumps and he's done pretty well with his batting as well," Lee was quoted as saying by news.com.au
"Poor Callum Ferguson. One game, he's played one test, everyone else has missed out, it's not like he's made a serious error of judgment in not getting runs but you've gotta feel for him and also Mennie," he added.
The former Australian pacer fears that if the national selectors are going to be consistent with their policy then Renshaw, Handscomb, Maddinson and Sayers would also face a "deliver-or-perish situation" in Adelaide.
"Now when you get dropped from the Australian cricket team after one test, they're not really going to go back to him again I wouldn't have thought, they've pretty much made a statement.You've had a go, you've had two innings and the poor bugga's missed out twice. One he was run out - and that was by the captain as well - you've got to take that on board," Lee said.
"If you say to Callum Ferguson you've had one crack, you missed out, if Peter Handscomb or Nic Maddinson gets his opportunity and misses out - what happens then?" he added.
Australia, which is currently ranked third in the ICC Test Rankings, will further slip to fifth if they fail to stop South Africa from completing series whitewash in the Adelaide Test.
The Australian squad for the Adelaide Test
is as follows: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Jackson Bird, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nic Maddinson, Nathan Lyon, Matt Renshaw, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade. (ANI