DESPITE Australia suffering a staggering collapse on day three against Pakistan, former selector Mark Waugh says it is not time to start panicking.
However, he does believe Australia made a mistake not picking Glenn Maxwell for the tour, singling him out as the one available batsman who could have made a difference.
“It’s tough because we lost our two best batsman (Steve Smith and David Warner), three including (Cameron) Bancroft,” Waugh said on Fox Cricket before play on Wednesday. “There’s only a certain pool of players that are good enough to play Test cricket.
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“It’s not the time to panic. I don’t think there’s many players there that would make a big difference. The only player I would have picked that is not there is Glenn Maxwell.
“He’s a guy with ability, can change the game, he’s a good player of spin, he can actually take the attack to the bowling side.
“That’s the only guy I would have in there that is not there, and maybe you can bring Matt Renshaw back for the second Test. That’s about the best we’ve got at the moment.”
LIVE BLOG: Pakistan v Australia, first Test
Australia lost 10 wickets for 60 runs in Dubai on Tuesday, to slump from 0-142 to 202 all out. Usman Khawaja (85) and Aaron Finch (62) were the only Australians to score more than 15, with debutants Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne both registering ducks.
Despite the disappointing display, former fast-bowler Brett Lee has implored selectors to keep the faith and give the team’s rookies the chance to establish themselves without undue pressure.
“He (coach Justin Langer) should be saying to his batsman is you’ve got three Tests,” Lee said on Fox Cricket. “If I’m a coach, I’d say you’ve got these six opportunities, no one is looking over your shoulder, get out there and execute the way that you want to play. Play with freedom and then after six innings, or three Tests if you haven’t performed then we’ll look elsewhere.
“I think if they look to make a change in the second Test it could be a little bit harsh.”