Australia cricketers have shrugged off the criticism they are receiving about the Ashes Test squad that was picked by the selectors for the first two games against England. Peter Handscomb and spinner Nathan Lyon said that it is disappointing that people have criticised the team.
“It’s been a little bit disappointing, all the criticism that this team has got,” Handscomb was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “This is the team that’s out there to win the Ashes. Some of the things that have come out from ex-players is a bit disappointing, but in our team and in our inner sanctum, we know that this team is good enough and we know what we can do.
“We’ve got the belief … and we’ll go out there and go well. It doesn’t really matter what gets said out in the media. We know what we’re going to do, we know how strong we are and whatever gets said, it’s not a massive deal for us.”
Former Australia cricketers like Allan Border and Shane Warne were critical of the squad after the selectors picked Tim Paine as the wicketkeeper for the series. Handscomb, however, said that there is only one way to silence people who are criticising it.
“If you win, they’ve got nothing to talk about,” he added.
Lyon threw some light on the discussions before Paine was picked for the Test squad after a gap of seven years. He said that the wicketkeeper’s name had been mentioned in informal meetings and everyone has welcomed him on the dressing room.
“Tim’s fine, he’s got the support of the inner sanctum,” Lyon said. “We’re a great team together, we’re all good people and we’re all good mates.
“That’s one big helping hand for us to move forward in this series … we’ve got to make sure our inner sanctum is tight and is a bubble. And we can’t let the media or past players or the public have an effect on us.
“If you’re in and around the squad, you have a feeling and you have discussions with people and you know where the selectors are probably heading. There wasn’t too many big surprises there. I know Painey’s name got mentioned to me a couple of times.
“We’ve got 13 players here … no matter who goes out into the middle, I’ve got 100 per cent confidence we can get the job done.”
Handscomb also denied that Paine’s surprise inclusion in the squad will not dampen the spirits of the Australian fans.
“I think the Australian public will get behind us very, very easily,” he said. “They all come out in their thousands to watch. The crowd’s going to me amazing, the atmosphere will be awesome and we’re looking forward to it.”