A former fellow Test left-hand batter believes Travis Head‘s last-start century will kickstart a long and successful career in the baggy green.
Head belted 152 to lead Australia to a big first-innings lead over England at the Gabba, before the Aussies were left only 20 runs to achieve victory in the first Ashes tie.
Head, 27, has played 20 Tests and now averages a respectable 43.50. His career has been stop-start, though, and his place in the Aussie line-up was in serious doubt even leading up to this current series.
Following his Gabba heroics, Australian teammate Alex Carey claimed Head could become one of the game’s best batters over the coming months.
Head could only laugh off that praise when told about it on Tuesday.
Head wary of England’s Broad assault
“I think there’s a lot of people would still be doubting my ability, what I can bring, I understand that. I have great perspective on that,” Head told media.
“It is one innings but hopefully it’s one innings that can kickstart a nice little journey., a nice little couple of months for me in the Ashes.
“Hopefully it can propel me, it shows people I do have the talent to do it. It’s now consistency, and as a player I want to be as consistent as I can.
“I don’t want to walk out and not contribute over the next four Test matches.”
The challenge for Head now is going on with his one big score and being a regular contributor for Australia.
He currently holds a mortgage on the No.5 batting spot but a couple of bad Test matches could easily see him drop back out of the side.
But for former Test batsman Ed Cowan, last week’s century showed signs Head is an improved batter from the one that failed to keep his place in the team last summer.
“That was one hell of an innings,” Cowan told ABC.
“For game situation, set up… sure, Australia was ahead, but the game was in the balance. The wicket was still offering plenty.
“What he did under pressure was revert to a game that is more natural to him, but what was layered over the top was this impressive technically excellence.
“You can see the fine-tuning he’s done with (Justin) Langer and (Michael) Di Venuto, both fine left-handers, in playing the ball later and playing it straighter.
Warner injury mounts pressure on Harris
“I have a feeling Travis Head of two years ago would have chased a ball and been caught at third-man or at gully or in the slips.
“To be able to combine his hand-eye, his skill, and now this technical refinement – wow, we have a player on our hands.
“This is, for me, a coming of age. This is ‘I’ve arrived’.
“The wicket suited him in a sense that he loves pace on the ball. The next challenge for him is to play great spin bowling in Asia. But it’s a lot easier to learn that when you’re in the team and playing full of confidence.
“That was fantastic.”