HOBART, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 07: Ricky Ponting, assistant T20 coach looks on during the Twenty20 International match between Australia and England at Blundstone Arena on February 7, 2018 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Travis Head's exclusion from the Australian side for the first Test against India has seen him be the focus of much-heated debate around the cricketing world.

Unlike most cricket fans and in particular Australian fans, Ponting has revealed that he wasn't surprised by the decision.

Despite Matt Renshaw averaging in excess of 50 in Sheffield Shield cricket, Head stands as the fourth-ranked batsman in the world which, combined with his recent form looked to be more than enough to warrant him another spot in the Australian team.

Head had scored three centuries across the summer alongside some seriously good, aggressive batting.

Speaking on the matter, Ponting told the ICC “I've actually been wondering what they might do with their line-up."

“The fact that they played Matt Renshaw in Sydney (in the last Test), to me meant that they had probably had other plans in mind for him.

“If they're going to keep him in, they couldn't really afford to keep Travis Head in either, because they would've had five left-handers in their top seven, which probably would've played into Ravi Ashwin's hands. Ashwin loves, as we know, bowling to left-handers.

“The other side of it is that Travis' record outside of Australia, and particularly in the subcontinent, is nowhere near as good. So when you put all those pieces together, I actually wasn't that surprised.”

With regard to Renshaw's first ball duck yesterday, Ponting says it is worth forgiving his performance and giving him another crack.

“That was a part of the puzzle that I was talking about as to why I thought Travis might have missed out in this Test match,” Ponting said. “I know the reason that the Australian selectors have picked Matt Renshaw is they believe he's a very good player of spin bowling.”

“It's one thing to be known and identified as a good spin-bowling player when you're playing in Australia. But when you get to India and you're coming up against such foreign conditions – even today, you know, it's day one of a Test match and you're seeing conditions that most of our guys probably have never witnessed before on the first day of a game.

“That's when you start to work out who the really good quality players of spin are. I know he was out first ball today. I'll forgive him of that.”

Meanwhile, the former superstar also backed the selectors for their decision to include Peter Handscomb in the side.

Like Renshaw, Handscomb has been in some serious form in the Sheffield Shield, boasting an average of 81.57 and a high score of  281 not out.

“He's had a couple of really good years of (domestic) Sheffield Shield cricket,” Ponting said. “He's captain of Victoria. I think he might've been the leading run-scorer in the Shield competition last year. He started this year really well.

“So, he's done everything he can to get back into the Australian squad. But the one thing that's been in his favour is the fact that this series is in India. If this series had been in England or in South Africa, for instance, then I don't think Handscomb would've got picked.”

In fact, Ponting wasn't critical of any of the selectors' decisions in his recent interview but rather was cynical of David Warner's poor form.

Although Warner scored a huge double-century against South Africa, the cricket pundit hasn't been impressed with the opener's form.

“Today nine Test matches – well, eight-and-a-half, he's got another (innings) yet – but that average would've dipped down again today. He's one of the players that has come out and said that winning in India, as far as he's concerned, would be maybe even bigger than winning an Ashes series.

“So, if the selectors and the coach and the captain, if they are so hell-bent on winning this series and a couple of their batters for the first few games don't fire, then I think they have to have a look at picking who they think is their best line-up going forward.

“I think Head's been left out of this Test match because of his record in the subcontinent, plus the amount of left-handers that Australia have in their side. So you could probably say the same thing about David Warner.

“The other thing on the back of it, unfortunately for David, is that he also hasn't got a great record in England. The next Test series they play is very soon after this one finishes, obviously with an IPL in the middle.

“David knows in his own heart of hearts that he needs to score some runs in the first part of this series.”

Coach Andrew McDonald and chief selector George Bailey will have their work cut out after the completion of the first Test match, with many key decisions to be made.

The second Test will be played in Delhi on February 17, a game that will no doubt have huge ramifications for both sides.