Head opens up on chat with selectors after shock Test axing

Australia v India, Cricket, featured, Travis Head

Travis Head did not see his controversial axing for the first Test in India coming but says he will bat anywhere Australia needs him.

The 29-year-old missed the Border-Gavaskar series opener in Nagpur after being dropped based on his poor record batting in Asia.

Head, the world’s No.4-ranked Test batter, was coming off an outstanding 2022 in Australian conditions, but struggled on the tours of Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

“It was something that I didn’t expect coming here, sometimes that happens,” Head said on Saturday of his axing.

CLICK HERE for a seven-day free trial to watch the Tour of India on KAYO

“The conversations were robust. Everyone has different opinions. 

“I respect the coaching staff and selectors and I have a really strong relationship with them. 

Travis Head of Australia bats.

Travis Head. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

“That’s what made the conversations go the way they went, because there’s respect that goes both ways and we were able to voice our opinions. 

“I woke up the next morning and I’m still on tour playing for Australia, I still get to do what I love to do.” 

Head’s rollercoaster first Test tour of India continued when he was recalled for the second match in Delhi, coming in at the expense of Matt Renshaw.

After scoring 12 batting at No.5 in the first innings, the South Australian was promoted up the order the following day after veteran opener David Warner was subbed out of the match with concussion.

It was just the third time in his first-class career Head had opened the batting.

The aggressive left-hander looked right at home alongside Usman Khawaja at the top of the second innings.

Head blazed a run-a-ball unbeaten 39 to shock India’s bowlers before stumps on the second day.

He added just four to his overnight score, but Head still top scored for Australia as they collapsed in abysmal fashion in their second innings.

“It was a small sample piece, but over here small sample pieces can be a little bit of gold to hopefully push on for the next two Tests,” Head said.

“I felt like the process was right, hopefully the outcome turns out in the near future.

“I’ve done it a lot in one-day cricket, and especially here (in India) is the one place that is as close to one-day cricket as it could be. 

“It’s only going to swing for a few overs and then batting’s normally at its best.”

DELHI, INDIA - FEBRUARY 17: David Warner of Australia walks off after he was dismissed by Mohammed Shami of India during day one of the Second Test match in the series between India and Australia at Arun Jaitley Stadium on February 17, 2023 in Delhi, India. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

David Warner walks off after he was dismissed by Mohammed Shami. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Australia coach Andrew McDonald has all but guaranteed Head will open the batting after Warner this week exited the tour with a broken elbow.

“Honestly, after missing out in the first Test, I’d bat anywhere that the team needed me to get a game – I’ve always said that,” Head said.

“The game can move extremely quickly in these conditions, I think we’ve seen that in Sri Lanka (last year) where we had a day like that as well. It’s an experienced group and you try to limit those days as much as you can. 

“It’s tough to try to gain momentum when the team is as good as they are and they can exert that much pressure on you that it can crack. But it’s a challenge for us over the next couple of weeks, when we find ourselves in moments, how can we draw it back. 

“When it’s a full stadium and there’s noise going and wickets falling, how we can draw that back?”

After almost two weeks based in the Indian capital, Australia will relocate to Indore on Sunday to prepare for the third Test, which starts on Wednesday.

Steve Smith will captain the team in the absence of Pat Cummins, who remains in Australia to be with his seriously ill mother.


Leave a Reply